Arapeta Awatere

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Arapeta Awatere
Born (1910-04-25)25 April 1910
Tuparoa, Gisborne District
Died 6 March 1976(1976-03-06) (aged 65)
Allegiance  New Zealand
Service/branch New Zealand Military Forces
Years of service 1928–c.1945
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Commands held Māori Battalion (1944–45)

Second World War

Awards Distinguished Service Order
Military Cross

Arapeta Marukitepua Pitapitanuiarangi Awatere DSO, MC (25 April 1910 – 6 March 1976) was a New Zealand interpreter, military leader, maori welfare officer, local politician, and convicted murderer. Of Māori descent, he identified with the Ngati Hine (Northland), Ngati Porou and Te Whanau-a-Hinetapora iwi. He was born in Tuparoa, East Coast, on 25 April 1910. He served as a colonel in the Māori battalion during the Second World War and is father to the former MP Donna Awatere Huata.[1]

In 1969 he stabbed to death his girlfriend's new lover, which he unsuccessfully tried to blame on diabetes induced psychosis, and was later convicted and sentenced to life in prison, where he died unexpectedly seven years later.