Christchurch's hero helicopter pilot, the late Steve Askin, was also a champion for unity between Maori and Pakeha when just a 10-year-old boy.
The 39-year-old died this week when his helicopter crashed as he fought the Port Hills fires.
However, a 1990 video produced for the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi has resurfaced, and stars a then bleach blonde Askin alongside Wayne Tuapawa.
The video, designed to show New Zealand in unity, shows the two boys embracing each other, laughing, playing and building a camp fire along a beach.
"Our country, our year. Huia, tuia, tui tuia," the a message reads at the conclusion of the clip.
The two boys remained in contact but lost touch after they left school, North & South reported.
Askin was also a the former SAS serviceman, who was injured fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2011.