J.M. Barker (Hapupu) National Historic Reserve

Alert/Important notice

 Temporary closure/rāhui over rākau momori (living tree carvings)

Due to a rapid decline in the health of the rākau momori and subsequent breakdown of the kōpi forest canopy, DOC is temporarily restricting access/placing a rāhui at this reserve.

This is to protect public health and safety. The long-term objective is to protect the kōpi groves and remaining rākau momori and enhance these special places for future generations to enjoy and care for.


Hapupu is 33 hectares of kopi forest which was gifted to the Crown in 1979 by Barker Brothers Ltd.


Dendroglyph (tree carving), Hapupu Historic Reserve. Photo: Andrew Penniket.
Dendroglyph (tree carving), Hapupu
Historic Reserve.

The reserve was established to protect Moriori rakau momori (tree carvings). It is one of only two national historic reserves in New Zealand. This designation reflects the particular importance of Hapupu both culturally and spiritually for the Moriori of Rekohu (Chatham Islands).

The rakau momori here are among the few visible remaining signs of pre-contact Moriori culture. The carvings depict Moriori karapuna (ancestors) and symbols of the natural world, such as patiki (flounder).

The reserve was fenced in 1980 to protect the tree carvings from grazing stock. More recently forest either side of the reserve has been fenced and protected by the Barker Brothers covenant.


North-eastern end of Chatham Island.

Getting there

Head north from Waitangi on the North Road, turn right at the signposted turn-off 6km from Kaingaroa. The reserve is at the end of the road adjacent to the old Hapupu airstrip.

Plan and prepare


Find out more

Learn more

Chatham Islands website

Stop the spread of didymo
Check, Clean, Dry all items before entering, and when moving between, waterways.


Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies


Rekohu / Wharekauri / Chatham Island Office
Phone:      +64 3 305 0098
Email:   chathamislands@doc.govt.nz
Full office details