Kahuwera Pa Historic Reserve: Northland historic conservation

Introduction

Kahuwera pa on the Paroa Peninsula is a defended headland pa that features strongly in the historically significant Bay of Islands.

Paroa Peninsula has two historically significant pa located on it, Kahuwera and Paroa.

Kahuwera pa is a defended headland pa that features strongly in the historically significant Bay of Islands.

Today, the 2.5m deep ditch remains an outstanding example of defensive earthworks, and the terraces of the pa are extensive and well defined.

Human history

The occupants of the pa were often hosts to crews of whaling ships in the 1800’s.

During this early contact period the chief of Kahuwera was Korokoro who was said to be also the chief of Paroa pa. The chief travelled to Port Jackson in Sydney with missionary leader Samuel Marsden and other prominent Bay of Islands chiefs Ruatara of Oihi and Hongi Hika in 1814.

When New Zealand’s first mission station was established at Oihi (Marsden cross) these three chiefs were given semi official law enforcement under missionary Kendall. In 1819 Marsden considered Kahuwera as a potential mission site but Kerikeri was eventually selected.

Korokoro died in 1823 and the opportunity came at last for Ngapuhi to take over Kahuwera and they descended on the pa. The pa had withstood Ngapuhi takeover for a number of years after the Ngapuhi invasion. When French explorer, D’Urville visited Paroa Bay in 1827 he found the pa deserted.

Kahuwera was gazetted in 1978 as a historic reserve under the control of the Bay of Islands Maritime and Historic Park. Today it is in the care of the Department of Conservation. 

Visiting Kahuwera Pa

Follow the footsteps of Augustus Earle who visited the pa and enjoy the fantastic views of the Eastern Bay of Islands. 

Getting there

Access is by boat only - there is no track. 

References

The Story of the Bay of Islands Maritime and Historic Park. 1989. Department of Conservation.  


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