Te Moananui A Kiwa Ngarimu was born on the East Coast, on 7th April 1919, a member of Ngati Porou.
Ngarimu attended Whareponga Native School from 1924 to 1929, when he was enrolled in Hiruharama Native School.
Ngarimu attended Te Aute College, where he was celebrated for his outstanding rugby ability.
After leaving school, Ngarimu announced his engagement to Hiria Walker and worked on the family farm until the outbreak of the Second World War, in 1939.
Ngarimu signed up for service in the newly formed 28th Maori Battalion. On 11 February 1940, after training and sailing to England, Ngarimu was chosen for Intelligence duties. He later became a Second Lieutenant and Platoon Leader.
The Maori Battalion saw action in much of the heaviest fighting in Greece, Crete and Libya, and played a key role in the breakout of the encirclement at Minqar Qaim.
Shortly after the battle of El Alamein, on 26 March 1943, the Battalion was involved in the attack on the Tebaga Gap, in Tunisia. The Battalion was to attack and hold a key position known as Point 209. In order to do this, the Battalion had to take and hold a hill in front of this position. Ngarimu’s platoon was one of the platoons ordered to attack Hikurangi, as the hill was known by the Maori Battalion. Ngarimu himself was the first to reach the crest of the hill despite heavy mortar and machine gun fire from Point 209. Ngarimu personally dispatched at least two machine gun nests. Although he was wounded in the shoulder and in one leg, Ngarimu refused to leave his men on Hikurangi. The German counter-attacks during the fight were repelled thanks to the bravery and leadership of Ngarimu. Ngarimu fought with his machine gun, and when weapons were disabled and grenades were depleted, he fought hand to hand with rocks.
On the morning of 27th March 1943, the Germans launched one final attack on Hikurangi and Ngarimu was killed. Ngarimu was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery, determination, and outstanding leadership. Ngarimu is remembered for his bravery, leadership and loyalty to his men.
The House logo of Ngarimu is based around the Maori weapon, the Wahaika. This weapon required great skill to wield it. It is symbolic of the fighting spirit and courage Ngarimu showed at Hikurangi. Members of Ngarimu House look to follow Ngarimu’s example and strive to be courageous, proud and determined in the face of challenge.