DOC has publicly notified a proposal to vest Te Paina (Mercer Domain Recreation Reserve) in Waikato-Tainui and classify the land as local purpose marae. Submissions closed 8 August 2022.

This proposal is made under the Reserves Act 1977.

Application details


To vest Te Paina (Mercer Domain Recreation Reserve) in Waikato-Tainui.

Location of land parcel proposed for vesting and classification

Te Paina (Mercer Domain Recreation Reserve) is on the eastern side of the Waikato River, at Mercer in northern Waikato, adjacent to the Waikato Expressway. Allotment 136, Parish of Koheroa Pt Allotment 39, Parish of Koheroa (Section 1 SO Plan 565866) and Koheroa 90B Block.

Summary of proposal

To vest the 38.6885 ha reserve to Trustees of the Waikato Raupatu Lands Trust and classify it as local purpose marae.

About the proposal and the site

Te Paina (Mercer Domain Recreation Reserve) is a culturally significant site in north Waikato, near the Waikato River.

The reserve is part of an area comprising the (pre-European) Mangatāwhiri Pā site. The site has significant links to the Waikato land wars from July 1863 to April 1864. The crossing of Mangatāwhiri stream on the northern boundary signalled the commencement of those wars.

The site is significant to the Waikato-Tainui historical tribal narrative – in particular for the Ngāti Naho and Ngāti Tamaoho hapū – for various reasons, including the relocation of whānau from Te Paina to Ngāruawāhia to establish Tūrangawaewae marae more than 100 years ago.

It’s proposed the reserve be vested in Waikato-Tainui and classified as a local purpose marae. The proposal is supported in principle by Waikato District Council, which currently manages the site.

The Department of Conservation’s role is to manage the process which acts as a mechanism for the repurposing and vesting of the reserve to Waikato-Tainui. That process includes public notification of the proposal, and an opportunity for the public and organisations to make submissions.

Map of vesting (PDF, 1,009K)

Make a submission

Submissions on the proposal can be made on the submission form. Include the grounds for any objection you may have and an indication of whether you wish to be heard in support of your submission. 

Send the form to: 

Michelle Lewis
Department of Conservation
Private Bag 3042
Hamilton 3240


Submissions must be received by 5 pm 8 August 2022.

Once submitted, submitters’ information is subject to the Official Information Act 1982 and may be released under that Act. If you wish to keep any part of your submission confidential, state this in writing when making your submission.

What happens next

After submissions close:

  1. DOC will analyse and consider all submissions.
  2. A hearing will be held if there have been requests to be heard. If you have expressed an interest in presenting your submission at a hearing, you’ll be contacted by DOC regarding this.
  3. DOC will analyse and consider information raised at the hearing if a hearing occurred.
  4. DOC will make a recommendation to the Minister of Conservation.
  5. The Minister of Conservation will make a decision on the application. That decision will be published on this page.

Hearing details

If a hearing is required, it’s likely to occur in late August 2022.


No details at this point. Details, such as submissions and the decision outcome, will be added when they are available.


If you have a question about the application or the submission process you can contact

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