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Pacific Stories

Television (Full Length Episode) – 2014

When we handed over the [ID] passes to them [the liberators], we had to go into the jungle and live there for a number of weeks just to make sure that the soldiers did not come to punish us.
– Sir Paulias Matane on locals adjusting to less restrictive times, after the Japanese surrender in Papua New Guinea
The next morning it was a bit rough to have three empty beds on one side and two on the other.
– Fighter pilot Tony Pierard, on five pilots being killed on Christmas Eve in 1943
For New Zealand, there was almost a sense of panic after the fall of Singapore. The Japanese in China had shown themselves to be very, very ruthless.
– Historian Reg Newell
...among the first encounters with the Japanese advance was in in August and September 1942, when 17 New Zealand coastwatchers and five civilians, keeping a round-the-clock watch for enemy ships and aircraft, were taken prisoner in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands. On October 15 they were lined up and beheaded.
– Writer Dionne Christian in The NZ Herald, 19 April 2014