a boost for tribe’s emotional connection to the land
Historic sites in and around Tongariro National Park are to be restored by Ngāti Tūwharetoa hapū as part of a new Jobs for Nature project.
The sites include the Opōtaka pā site on the banks of Rotoaira and Te Pōrere Redoubt, both culturally and historically significant to the Tūwharetoa hapū Ngāti Hikairo and listed by Culture and Heritage NZ.
Opōtaka is the kāinga and pā overlooking Motuopuhi at Rotoaira, where Hikairo chief Te Wharerangi sheltered the Ngāti Toa warrior and chief Te Rauparaha from a war party, and where Te Rauparaha famously composed the haka Ka Mate.
Te Pōrere, not far from Ngāti Hikairo’s Otūkou Marae, is where the prophet Te Kooti built and defended a fortification but was defeated in the last major battle of the New Zealand Wars in 1869.