The Hawke's Bay branch of the 28 Maori Battalion's D Company is boycotting a special ceremony in Wellington today, marking the closure of the famous World War II military unit.
The battalion's national association once decided not to wind up until the last veteran had died, but it has had a change of heart.
There were now just 25 survivors and the association believed none of the former soldiers wanted to be the last man left alive.
The D Company Hawke's Bay branch, in a statement to Hawke's Bay Today, said it did not want the battalion association to wind up.
It said the wives and widows of the veterans were not consulted about the move to close and felt unhappy the decision was made to go ahead this weekend.
It was also upset families of soldiers who were in the 15th reinforcements, sent over to the 28 Maori Battalion just as the war concluded, had not been recognised as part of the battalion.
The Hawke's Bay branch planned to continue holding its meetings, to support the three remaining veterans living in Hawke's Bay, as well as the families of soldiers who had since died.
It would also continue to parade at Anzac Day each year.
The three D Company veterans in Hawke's Bay were Rangi Whaanga and Adam Puriri of Hastings and Ben Hook of Wairoa.
The Whanganui branch of D Company also did not want to give up the battalion's mana, active member Ike Hunter said.
"We don't want that philosophy. The mana that the 28 has left to us, we don't want that to be taken away."
Mr Hunter said the branch planned to re-invent itself next year as a new entity.
The 28 Maori Battalion came together for the first time in Palmerston North in January 1940.
It was disbanded in 1946.
A total of 3600 men served in it. Of those 649 were killed during the war and 1712 were wounded.
To hear recordings made by wounded Maori troops in North Africa 70 years ago visit www.28maoribattalion.org.nz