In a small town twelve thousand miles away from the battlefields of Europe stands a monument dedicated to all Māori who fought for King and Country during World War One.
Constructed in 1925, it was built so generations to come would remember the supreme sacrifices made by Māori soldiers.
Over time, the stone and the memories carved into it slowly crumble. Storms and earthquakes accelerate this erosion. The loss of generations and dispersal of whānau exacerbates it.
Stopping the erosion, conserving the stones and rebuilding the monument will take a specialist team over a year and cost more than half a million dollars.
Goldfield Stone conservation team. Top row: Sonny Williams, Marco Buerger. Bottom row: Mark Whyte, Robin Ayers (not shown: Adrian Te Patu, Aaron Te Rangiao)
Detlef Klein, Manawatu Museum Services
Rosemary Tennant, Pākaitore Historic Reserve Board
Restoring memories, reconnecting whānau, and ultimately welcoming a World War One hero back home will take the love of a whole community.
Set in Stone is told from the heart by people whose passion and skill unite them. Māori and Pākehā, German and English all contribute to this fascinating and moving story.
Filmed with aroha in the gardens of Pākaitore, Whanganui, it’s a story about a New Zealand community doing what they do best – caring for those who lived and those still living.