Te Hauturu-o-Toi has been occupied by Māori from the times of early Polynesian settlement through to 1894 when the government contentiously legislated it as a nature reserve, a role that continues to the present day.
Made up of alluvial soils trapped behind boulder banks, the Te Maraeroa flat is the only area of flat land on the island and as such has been used extensively for cultivation both by Māori and Pākehā caretakers. Ngāti Manuhiri hapu are the principal iwi, and maintain an active on-going association with the island.
The archaeological sites are significant because they potentially date back to earliest Polynesian times, are relatively undisturbed, and represent a comprehensive range of site types, including rare gardening sites. The island is also significant as one of the first flora and fauna nature reserves in New Zealand.
One of eight Heritage Assessments by Andy Dodd about historic heritage sites in the Auckland Region. Each constitutes descriptions of history and fabric; historic significance assessments; management history and recommendations; information sources and references; a map and definitive photographs, and a chronology of events.
Author: Andy Dodd, Department of Conservation, Auckland Conservancy
ISBN: 978-0-478-14299-0 (web PDF)