A special monument to one of our greatest war heroes should be a priority for the new Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.
“This will honour the spirit of Lieutenant Colonel William Malone, who led 760 men to take Chunuk Bair in a terrible battle of which just 70 were not wounded or killed.
“It is now time that we properly marked the life and record of Lieutenant Colonel Malone who also died that day. He decided on a night attack because he refused to waste any more New Zealanders’ lives in a daytime assault. His leadership and reputation was left tarnished by the British military authorities and it is proper that 100 years later he is re-established as a great New Zealand hero.
“The real lesson of Gallipoli is to never forget, and to never repeat such a senseless waste of life.
“This weekend I will walk through the battlefields of Anzac and stand on perhaps the saddest of all, Chunuk Bair. A horrific 2779 New Zealanders died in this battle. While it is proper and right to remember them, it is also important that we never allow another Gallipoli.
“The Anzac spirit means many things to me: Bravery - to fight alongside your fellow soldiers and to stand up to those leaders who sent young men and women into a warzone they wouldn’t survive; it means fidelity, to your country and family; and it is perseverance and a sense of justice for all.
“This weekend I will be especially remembering close family members who died at Gallipoli, and placing poppies on the graves of my wife Leigh’s family.
“We are who we are as New Zealanders because of what’s gone before us. We need to know our history and understand it, to avoid the worst and draw on the best,” Andrew Little says.