Taumarumaru Scenic Reserve: Historic conservation in the Kaitaia area

Introduction

Taumarumaru Reserve encompasses three pa sites historically significant to the early Ngati Awa and later the Ngati Kahu people – two pa sites are located on the headland (Ohumuhumu and Otanenui) and one on the central ridge (Taumarumaru).

Located on a steep, rocky headland, Taumarumaru Scenic Reserve looks out towards the blue horizons of Doubtless Bay, and features three historically significant pa sites.

Taumarumaru Scenic Reserve gives you an insight into an area that was intensely occupied in pre-European times. Terraces and food storage pits are still visible today. You can also stand at the summit of each pa and look out at the strategic yet stunning views overlooking the bay and surrounding area.

Heritage value

Taumarumaru Scenic Reserve encompasses three pa sites historically significant to the early Ngati Awa and later the Ngati Kahu people – two pa sites located on the headland (Ohumuhumu and Otanenui) and one on the central ridge (Taumarumaru).

The reserve is 22 ha in size and contains 3 pa and 8 associated terraces, pit and garden sites.

The three pa sites were initially recorded in the 1960s, but were not intensely surveyed until 1984 by a Lands and Survey archaeologist. Kaumatua Vivian Gregory also collated known traditional information about the sites. Together, this body of archaeological and traditional information influenced the initial management plan for the reserve when the land was purchased by the Crown in 1984.

Conservation work

When purchased, the reserve had scenic and recreational values, which complemented a large private camping ground at Coopers Beach. Today, coastal subdivision development has dramatically increased in the area and Taumarumaru reserve is the last major area of undeveloped coast between Taipa and Mangonui.

The most prominent structures in the reserve, the three pa sites, and the reserve itself require general maintenance.

DOC and local volunteer group Friends of Taumarumaru, work in partnership carrying out maintenance such as weeding, planting, pest control and grounds keeping.

Overall, the site remains in a similar condition as was reported in 1984. Apart from erosion caused by stock and rabbits, the sites are in generally good condition.

Today, Taumarumaru Scenic Reserve is a popular destination for day visitors, dog walkers and fishermen.

Getting there

Taumarumaru Scenic Reserve is located on the east coast of Northland, 3 km west of Mangonui town ship, on the southern shores of Doubtless Bay.

Northland reserve bylaws apply to Taumarumaru Scenic Reserve.

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