New Zealand First Leader, Winston Peters, today expressed bitter disappointment at the Prime Minister’s decision to
refuse to have the Victoria Cross posthumously awarded to World War II hero, Sergeant Haane Manahi.
“Once again Mrs Shipley has failed to understand the significance of personal sacrifice on the part of a remarkable New
Zealander. I have no doubt that had there been a pre-election photo opportunity, she may have felt differently about
this issue,” he said.
“Sergeant Manahi displayed outstanding courage and determination with total disregard for personal safety. His actions
resulted in a significant stand being made during the battle for control of Takrouna in April 1943.
“There can be no doubt the level of bravery shown by Sergeant Manahi is deserving of the Victoria Cross as every officer
above him, in the field, and not Whitehall recommended it. That he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM)
under the circumstances, can be considered a travesty of military justice,” said Mr Peters.
“When in a position to do something more positive after the election to recognise Sergeant Manahi’s bravery, New Zealand
First will not shrink from this responsibility,” he said.