Protecting Aotearoa’s heritage in Hawke's Bay
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionDOC has worked closely with the Ngāti Pārau Hapū of Waiōhiki Marae since 1987 to manage and protect Ōtātara Pā Historic Reserve.
Date: 13 December 2017
Most people know that DOC is responsible for management of New Zealand’s unique species and almost a third of the landscape. However, we also protect and preserve New Zealand’s rich historic and cultural heritage.
In fact, DOC manages the single largest heritage portfolio in New Zealand - protecting more than 13,000 archaeological and historic sites that tell the story of New Zealand’s past.
One such site here in Hawke’s Bay is Ōtātara Pā Historic Reserve – a site that DOC has worked closely with the Ngāti Pārau Hapū of Waiōhiki Marae to manage and protect since 1987.
Covering more than 40 hectares, it is one of the largest and oldest remaining pā sites in the Bay favoured for its strategic location, providing expansive views and access to a range of natural resources. It was regarded by many iwi as the greatest Pa in the district and ownership was strongly contested at times.
Turauwha was a paramount chief in Hawke's Bay, based at Ōtātara. Around 400 years ago, Taraia led Ngāti Kahungunu to Heretaunga where they attacked Ōtātara.
Ōtātara commemorates the mana of Turauwha and Taraia and is linked through whakapapa to people and places throughout New Zealand.
For people who wish to visit this site – the views it offers are outstanding - you can see Napier, across to Cape Kidnappers and out to the sea.
From high points and lookouts within the pā site you can see the outlines of middens and pits dotted around.
Ōtātara Pā is near Taradale between Napier and Hastings. Look out for the palisades on the hill above the Eastern Institute of Technology.
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