A DOC ranger reads the new signage at Tauwhare Pā, Ohope
Image: DOC

Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


New interpretation panels give visitors an insight into how Tauwhare Pā at Ōhope may have been in the times of pre-settlers and re-visits the significant story of Mere Aira.

Date:  22 December 2020

The new signage compliments the beautiful views of the harbour, ocean and surrounding islands Tauwhare Pā has to offer.  

The name “Tauwhare” can be translated to the “house suspended above”.

The interpretation is a major investment to enhance this magnificent reserve and the stories it holds, including that of Mere Aira which highlights the battle between local Iwi and the peace that was found during battle. Descendants from both these tribes remain in the area today.   

Te Tapatoru ā Toi (a joint Ngāti Awa/Crown management committee) unveiled the new interpretation panels at Tauwhare Pā Scenic Reserve on December 4.

Committee chairman Te Kei Merito was an integral part in developing the new signage, providing invaluable Ngāti Awa history on the reserve and old kai gathering stories within the harbour.

Mr Merito said he hopes the new signage will reconnect Ngāti Awa uri (tribal members) with the pā, invite more local residents to learn more about the reserve’s history and attract travelers to experience our beautiful places. 

He was delighted to finally see the signage unveiled following the committee's investment of resources and time to capture the reserve’s beauty and history

“The signage has been part of a journey to enhance and revitalise Tauwhare Pā since the Committee’s inception.”

Located in Ohope, 6 km from Whakatane over the hill scenic reserve, Tauwhare Pā is a hidden gem in the eastern Bay of Plenty. It can be accessed through a waharoa (gateway) off Wainui Rd at the eastern end of Pōhutukawa Ave.

The reserve offers a short 5-minute walk to the top and a scenic 15–20 minute walk around the whole reserve.

It is the perfect place to enjoy short scenic walks over the summer.

More information

Te Tapatoru ā Toi is a Joint Management Committee between Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa and the Department of Conservation. The Committee jointly manages Tauwhare Pā Scenic Reserve, Ōhope Scenic Reserve and Moutohorā Wildife Management Reserve.


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