WO2 Matu Rangiuia

First name(s)
Also known as
Service number
Date of Birth
Date of death
Place of burial
Tologa Bay Cemetery

Vietnam War Oral History Project interviewee. Interview and transcript held at the Alexander Turnbull Library Oral History Centre in Wellington, New Zealand. Reference: OHInt-0959-19


The Vietnam List is an updated version of New Zealand's original Vietnam nominal roll – the Flinkenberg List – compiled by Captain Con Flinkenberg in 1972. Name, rank and unit information are from New Zealand military pay records. Read more about the Vietnam List.


Submitted by admin on Wednesday, 4 June 2014 - 9:43am


"Another outstanding WO1 has passed in Timaru on 4 June 2014.

Matu Rangiuia was a peer and close friend of Eru Manuera MC, and both of those outstanding Maori warriors consistently delivered much appreciated (generally) counsel to the young officers and NCO’s in their sphere of influence. They received the counsel anyway, like it or not!

The smarter young officers and NCO’s did listen to them both and their influence is seen today in many of our senior ranks.

I am heartened by their view that they were merely ‘the servants of Tumatauenga in this tour of duty’ and many more young men and women are coming through to take their place. They were both correct, I am heartened to see so many outstanding young men and women coming up though the ranks in the current NZDF.

Sad to see the end of another era, I have sent a card to the family on behalf of the NZSAS whanau."

— Jack Hayes, ex-4 Tp NZSAS

"Matu was Montecillo's Maori Advisor 'Kaiwhakahari' at the time of his passing.

Matu, initially along with Eru Manuera, developed the awareness that all servicemen/women and their dependents are recognised as the whanau of NZDF iwi, Ngati Tumatauenga (Maori God of War) at the time of Montecillo's upgrade and Certification with the Ministry of Health and the then recent establishment of VANZ within NZDF.

As Kaiwhakahari his leadership and guidance of staff cultural awareness of the Treaty of Waitangi throughout Montecillo, was an open-handed gift of knowledge and awareness, as a former senior soldier. a former education programme advisor in the Office of Race Relations, and former HOD Maori Studies Christchurch Polytechnic.

Various 'in service programmes', emphasised the special significance of Ngai Tahu as mana whenua, and how the iwi of Ngai Tahu recognise and respected Montecillo as the iwi of Ngati Tumatauenga , being 'guests' in Ngai Tahu ancestral lands for the duration of the life of Montecillo.

His passing is sadly recognised by all at Montecillo and those associated with us over nearly 14 years of as 'Kaiwhakahari'.

Rest in peace Matu, it has been a pleasure to have had you in my life."

— Fred Daniel, CEO Montecillo Veterans Home and Hospital

Submitted by Tamajr on Thursday, 24 July 2014 - 10:17pm


With the passing of Matiu many of us will remember a man of integrity, loyalty and kindness. A great soldier, leader, friend, husband and father of his children. Matiu, e hare ke e korero tuake i tenei, "haere ki te wahi ngaro ki te taumata wairua o te kainga hakamutunga mo te tangata. Ma te atua koe e okioki". "Although you are lost to us you have joined the chiefs in the home that all will eventual arrive at. The lord anoints you in his presence".

Among other things I remember Matiu for the fact he was not the loud boisterous NCO that, in those days was what the army encouraged young emerging NCO's to be. Never the less he was as efficient as any in that era. He was a fun person as well. Hailing from Te Tairawhiti he never missed a chance to promote his mountain "Hikurangi" when the occasion arose. A veteran of the Malay Emergency he went on to be one of only two Maori CSM's appointed to a Rifle Company in Vietnam. In General Pearce's Battalion of the 1961/63 deployment to Malaysia he was alongside Padre Whakahuihui Vercoe his wife Doris and Mat Edwards a driving force of the Maori Cultural Group. In his later years he was commissioned and although I lost contact with him I am sure he would have been a respected officer.

Recently I saw two photos. One was of WO2 Eddie Tataurangi, Sgt Joe Murray, Sgt Ra Paenga and WO1 Crete Haami the other was of WO1 Bob Hewlett and WO1 Ross Hardie. All these were soldier friends of Matiu's along with the many others who preceded him. In my view these were the soldiers who shaped the NZ Army's Infantry soldier into being jungle fighters without peer.

So............E kore ratau ekorohektia penei kia tatau kua mahue nei

               E kore ratau e ngokore ahakoa te ahuatanga o te ra

               I te hekenga atu o te ra tainoa ki te arangamai i te ata

               Ka momahara matau kia ratau

Richard (Dick) Shepherd

Te Whare Tapu O Ngapuhi