The Exhibition

US Marines in New Zealand

About - A Friend in Need Paekākāriki

As well as including the award-winning Friend in Need video and items from the exhibitions in Wellington and Waiouru, the Paekākāriki exhibit also includes a range of additional material: The large colourful Second Marines sign above the video console, was painted on a door. It identifies a unit based at Camp Russell during the war. The sign was discovered in a Johnsonville house by David Mears who subsequently donated it to KUSMT. Where it was positioned in the camp or who painted it is unclear. The Trust has used this colour scheme and type face to inform some of its other signage in the park.

  • A radio announcement by Prime Minister, Michael Joseph Savage, addressing the nation over the National Broadcasting Service at 7 p.m. on 5 September 1939 announcing that New Zealand would declare war on Germany. It contains the famous promise: ‘Where Britain stands, we stand.’  The copy was supplied by Radio NZ Sound Archives.

  • A mural backdrop, painted by local artist Graham Harris, based on photographs of Camp Mackay. An entrenching shovel discovered in the sand dunes long after the war. Shells and other armaments from Tarawa brought back to New Zealand by Peter Dreaver, a Volunteer Service Abroad worker in 1968-9. They were dug up from beaches and lagoons. Before being installed at the museum they were checked by an army ordnance specialist who removed several items to destroy them!

  • Photos of Tarawa were provided by Tony Whincup, a former teacher of photography at King George V school, Kiribati. The ’seabag' (kitbag), donated by Cliff Carrigan is decorated to show all the island campaigns he fought in. Cliff returned to New Zealand in the 1990s, married his wartime sweetheart, and died at Otaki Beach.

  • A small chest of drawers containing the Hal Schafer Collection. Each drawer is divided in compartments, each containing a piece of history: a set of ‘dog-tags’ (identity discs), the cover of a Japanese paperback, campaign ribbons, transport documents and many other fascinating objects.

US Marines in New Zealand