1. Document:New Zealand WW1 Masonic List N.Z.

Awards & Titles:


Family :

Whetu was the son of Henare Werohia of Papamoa, Tauranga, New Zealand.

He married Mrs. Marjory Dinah Werohia.

Hemi Hill, and his brothers Robert Hill (aka Waru Werohia) and Himiona Bruce Hill (enlisted under an unknown name) as well as an adoptive brother Whetu Werohia, all served in the Great War. Hemi and his brothers were the sons of Roger Hill (former Commissioned Officer in the Waikato and Auckland Militias, during the NZ Land Wars) and Whareherehere Mataki Anaru (Tutawake, Te Whanau-A-Apanui) of Whitianga/Omaio in the Bay of Plenty. Roger's father was a solicitor and originally lived in Doughty St, Bloomsbury. England (the Hill's were neighbours to Charles Dickens when he wrote Oliver Twist). It's believed that Hemi was not of age and enlisted with a friend Mita Hohua. Hemi was injured by German artillery fire on the first day of the Battle of Messines, June 7, 1917, witnessed by Mita and Hemi's adoptive brother Whetu; who carried Hemi back to the Dressing Station at Kandahar.

Service Life:


Unit / Ship / Est.: New Zealand (Maori) Pioneer Battalion 

Action : War Survivor 

Although many perished in times of national conflict and in the service of their country, many more survived including those interned as Prisoners of War. Stories of those who did survive are included as part of this site, especially those with high gallantry awards, those included against an external rolls of honour and those who had a distinguished career in wartime and military leaderhip.

He embarked with the 2nd Maori Contingent on 18 Sep 1915 and disembarked at Suez on 26 October 1915 , sailing on the Waitemata.

He served in the 28th Maori Bttn.

Detail :

See more on a Facebook video with the following accompanying text:

"The following is a brief look into the Werohia Servicemen of Mangatawa, Te Whetu Henare and his two sons, Hikurangi Blythe Kempton-Werohia and Whetu Deryk Kempton-Werohia.

Te Whetu Werohia was a well known man of his time, His fame lay in part to his exceptional singing ability and range and his eye catching and heart capturing haka skills. He was an entertainer during WW1 and was a lead in all aspects of Kapa Haka for The Penny Divers of Company B of 28th Māori Battalion. He also held esteemed leadership duties as an orator and a keeper of customs. Pita Awatere coined this saying about him, paying homage to his origins in Rangataua and his fierce leadership “te taniwha o Rangataua’ - the ferocity of Rangataua.

Te Whetu was the son of Henare Werohia Te Whetu and Merepaora Paraihe Taipari (McLeod). He was descended of the Ngā Pōtiki, Ngāi Te Rangi, Tuhourangi and Ngāti Wāhiao. He and his twin sister Wikitoria were born in 1889 at Mangatawa. Tragically Wikitoria was claimed by The Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918.

Te Whetu started school in Whakarewarewa before moving with his family to Pāpāmoa, where he then attended Pāpāmoa Native School. Following his primary years he then attended Te Aute College. Immediately following the end of school, the First World War occured and he enlisted to the Expeditionary force. He was a man well acquainted with entertaining the masses, a skill that he utilised during his time at war to lift the spirits of his fellow soldiers.

Te Whetu met his wife Margery Dinah Kempton in Cambridge England during the first World War, whilst at Officer training. It is understood that their combined love of musicianship is what attracted the pair.
It is also during this training period that Te Whetu made his way to the land of his Great Grandfather John Mcleod at Dunvegan Castle, The Isle of Skye in Scotland. Te Whetu returned with his wife to Pāpāmoa, where they began their family. They had three children, Hikurangi (Blythe), Dinah and Whetu (Deryk).

He is remembered and revered as a man of great substance, who honoured his word and conducted all his affairs in fairness, honesty and integrity. He was resolute, he was bold, a respected pillar of all his many societies.

In the second World War, both Te Whetus sons also enlisted. Whetu (Deryk) accompanied him into Company B of The 28th Māori Battalion and Hikurangi (Blythe) enlisted with The Royal NZ Airforce. Hikurangi was successful in his training to become a Pilot and was awarded his title in Canada. It was here during 1941-1942 that he met his fiance, an Ottawa local girl. They were due to be married on 22 August 1942. Unfortunately tragedy struck. Hikurangis plane plunged into Picton Harbour in Ontario killing both himself and his two co crew on board. He was buried there in Ottawa Ontario and remains there today He was 5 days shy of his 21st Birthday. On hearing of his passing, his family at Mangatawa decided to honour and remember him with a song. His cousin Tatai Blake was in deep distress at his passing, it was she who composed his memorial song ‘E Hiku e’ - a song of love and despair at the loss of Hikurangi Blythe Kempton-werohia. There were two children born near the time of his passing who were named in his memory, Ontario Ririnui (in remembrance of where he fell) and Hikurangi Blythe Reweti.

Whetu (Deryk) is fondly remembered as a cheeky fun loving man. Despite being in immediate and present danger, he wasn't one to concern himself with the perils of life, rather what he could make of it. During his time in Yokohama Japan, whilst on a boat within enemy territory he just casually threw dynamite over the side, so they onboard the boat could have some fish. This same scenario was played out again back in his home territory in the Rangataua harbour, where it is purported he took a couple of his nephews to see how many fish could be scored with a single dynamite. A memory held in fond regard by those who shared it. Jokes aside, just as his father was known as a man of strong morals and deed - he too was an exemplar of his father's fine breeding. A man of substance and integrity, who loved people and was loved by his people."

Masonic :

TypeLodge Name and No.Province/District :
Mother : Warner No. 2256 E.C.Essex

9th April 1918
11th February 1919
11th March 1919

Whetu Henera Werohia was stationed at Hornchurch as a 28 year old Lieutenant when he was initiated, in 1918 into Warner Lodge, Chingford. He recieved his Grand Lodge Certicate in April 1919 following the completion of his third degree. Shortly afterward, he resigned from Warner "Resd 17.6.19" and it is not known if he continued with Freemasonry back in New Zealand.

Source :

The project globally acknowledges the following as sources of information for research across the whole database:

Additional Source:

Last Updated: 2020-11-18 09:26:29