Waitahora Pa

To protect the historic, archaeological, cultural and spiritual values of this garden pa, the McRae Trust Board signed a Queen Elizabeth II Covenant in 2005. (1ha)

The garden pa of the revered Te O Tane, predates European contact. Ngahiwi Tomoana, Chairman of Ngati Kahungunu Iwi calls Te O Tane , “The Terminator”, responsible for avenging all Kahungunu losses in battle, hence his mana. He exacted utu (revenge) for transgressions that occurred over a long period”.

Takitimu by J H Mitchell, has a graphic account of his life and war-like exploits circa 250 years ago.
“He was of massive build, extraordinarily tall, framed in proportion and possessed of tremendous strength. The military achievements and fame of Te O Tane were keystones to the greatness and security of the Ngati Kahungunu tribe.”

A Conservation Plan is to be drawn up in consultation with local Iwi for a process for pa preservation, remedial work, and access to the public. Heritage site plans include a walkway from SH38 and the Waitahora Arboretum Park , with native plantings, signage and development. (ICOMOS Charter)

“Waitahora is a highly significant site. It is an outstanding example of a pa in this particular ecological setting. It is well worth taking the effort to ensure its long term protection and it would be of public and Tangata Whenua interest.” - Dr Kevin L Jones, Department of Conservation, Co- Author of Caring for Archaeological Sites: NZ Guidelines.

A small stone adze discovered here in 1970s was presented to the Wairoa Tai Whenua.

Section of QEII at McRae Trust

A QEII visit to the Waitahora Pa site by Malcolm Piper (Regional Rep. QEII), Margaret McKee (Chief Executive QEII), Rill Meihana (Chairman Wairoa Taiwhenua), Michael Cooney (Farm Manager), Dennis Munro (Trust Chairman), Pita Walker-Robinson (Manager Wairoa Taiwhenua).


Heritage Features:

The Garden: Polynesian root crops flourished on these fertile Waiherere loam river valley soils in the nearby paddock

The Pa : 65 m long, sloping down and narrowing to 6m to the South end. Triangular in size and very strategic.

The Ditch: 2 metres wide

The Bank: 40 metres at the transverse ditch. 2 metres from base to crest. There has been bulldozer damage to the ditch.

The Palisade : Would have been on top of the Bank and extended around the perimeter of the Pa - (reasonably well fortified from enemies)

Raised Bank House Floors: 6.5 x 3m just inside the ditch and bank on SE perimeter. It has a simple drain along each side running into Waitahora Stream.

A second raised bank house floor 5 x 3m interior is located at the far distal end

Raised rim pits : 2 in poor condition close to the Bank

Middens : I in the Wairoa River bank, another in Waitahora Stream bank

Photo of the Wai tahora Pa of Te-O-Tane from "Takitimu" written by JH Mitchell (Tiaki Hikawera Mitira)

Wai tahora Pa today McRae Trust Chairman Dennis Munro with
Dr Kevin Jones DOC