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Otago alumnus appears at the Somme for Anzac Day

Wednesday, 13 April 2016 11:21am

Kawiti-Waetford-image
Otago alumnus Kawiti Waetford and his opera singing mentor Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. Photo: Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation.

Otago alumnus Kawiti Waetford will be appearing on Maori Television with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa on Anzac Day, as he traces the brutal reality of how his great-grandfather died in battle at the Somme.

When Dame Kiri and her opera singing protégé visit the Somme, they also reflect on the sacrifice the Māori Battalion made in the bloodiest battle of World War I.

Four decades in England have seen Dame Kiri drawn repeatedly to historic battlegrounds, but none hold the nostalgic connection to home like the Somme. On this deeply personal journey, she reflects on the stories of several Māori soldiers.

“I believe that one of the ways we can honour that sacrifice, is to learn about it,” she says.

Kawiti and Dame Kiri are supported by a host of expert historians and scholars in what Maori TV describes as an honest and poignant documentary that beautifully ties together the past and present.

Sacrifice on the Somme airs on Māori Television at 8am on Anzac Day, Monday, April 25.