Okuratope Pa Historic Reserve
Located in the Northland region
IntroductionOkuratope pa is an excellent example of a complete and well-preserved fortified settlement, however public access is difficult.
Okuratope pa is located 2 km west of the Te Waimate mission station, inland Bay of Islands.
Public access is diffcult. There is no formed track, and public right of way is through a swamp.
Okuratope pa is one of the key pa of the contact period, strong relations to the Missioniary farm at Waimate North.
The pa is located between two streams and is protected under a canopy of native bush.
The features of the pa are defensive ditches. The platform (tihi) area has rectangular house areas that are surrounded by ditches and small bell-shaped storage pits.
Plan of Okuratope pa
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The site is highly significant to Ngapuhi as it is connected to several of their great leaders. In the early 19th century, Okuratope was the strong hold of Hongi Hika and his half brother Kaingaroa.
The pa is described in great detail by early European explorers. Missionary leader Samuel Marsden and John Nicholas visited the pa with Hongi in 1815, and were impressed by the defences of the pa, which had been developed for musket warfare, the number and size of the buildings and the elevated throne of Kaingaroa. They estimated the population to be between 200-300 people.
Maingay, J., Robinson, J. 1994. Conservation Proposals for Okurtope Pa Historic Reserve. Department of Conservation, Northland Conservancy.
Elder, J. (ed.) The letters and Journals of Samuel Marsden, Chapter 2.