Haruru Mai by Briar Grace-Smith and Strange Resting Places by Paolo Rotondo and Rob Mokaraka, deal with the legacy of the WWII Maori Battalion, although in very different ways.
Haruru Mai demonstrates the epic sweep and poetic lyricism of Briar Grace-Smith's writing and is a moving tale of community, love and loss, and ultimately redemption. A Maori Battalion veteran returns to his small Northland hometown after forty years. His arrival revives anxieties over land and family, and Maori participation in the war.
Strange Resting Places is an hilarious and often poignant exploration of the collision of Maori and Italian culture during WWII. Big Band music, traditional waiata and bomber planes are woven together in this beautiful tale of unlikely friendship and impossible love. The tensions are high and the stand-offs fierce, but remember, piccolino - there are Christians on both sides.