Arapeta Awatere was a humble man born in 1910 at Tuparoa on New Zealand’s East
Coast; in World War II he served his country with distinction in fierce fighting, rose to the rank of colonel and led the 28 (Maori) Battalion. Post-war he became a distinguished community leader, an Auckland city councilor, an orator and a genealogist. In 1969, at the age of fifty-nine, his life shattered. He was convicted of a crime of passion – the murder of his mistress’s lover – and he ended his years in prison.
This book is part of his legacy: the passion, insight and pain left by an indomitable spirit and strong intellect whose life’s work was nearly foundered in one night.
Awatere: A Soldier’s Story gathers together his autobiography, many of his poems and songs, and two essays. Readers of this book will long remember one of the great figures of twentieth-century New Zealand.