History, culture and hertiage
Te Rae o Papamoa has witnessed waves of immigration, from the
earliest ancestral waka, through to Captain James Cook and the
Pakeha who followed him. The area has also witnessed much conflict
as control of Te Rae o Papamoa and the surrounding plains was
contested between successive waves of occupants.
have long understood the importance of the hills with their
commanding position over the surrounding coastline. From Te
Rae o Papamoa they could control the south-eastern access to
Tauranga Moana and the coastal strip down to Maketu. Looking
outwards into th Pacific, pa from the hills could keep watch on the
busy coastal route from the East Cape, past Whakatane, Tauranga and
Katikati, and up into hauraki and beyond. From the hills, Maori
could also observe the bountiful islands of Motiti, Matakana,
Rangiwaea, and Tuhua.
Archaeologists suggest the history of Papamoa hills may begin
around 1650 AD or even earlier.The hill is considered a
boundary between the Mataatua and Te Arawa waka and the sites have
significance to a number of iwi/hapu.
Papamoa hills is therefore a large archaeological
complex. There are seven pa sites situated within the Papamoa
Hills Regional Park, and others can be seen in the surrounding
landscape. Those pa are Papamoa, Te Ihu o Ruarangi, Te Houawe, Te
Kaingapakura, Maraeroa (outside of Park), Karangaumu, Patakitahi,
Patangata, Whaaro (outside of Park).
Every feature of the landscape has become known intimately by
the indigenous people who can recall the history of the land back
through the generations. It is for them to tell the story in is
entirety and to interpret the many different layers of
understanding within these stories.
The McNaughton family began farming the property around 100
years ago and supported the establishment of a Papamoa Hills
Regional Park. Despite farming on the archaelogical sites, the
features are still well preserved and the terracing of
the pa sites is noticable landscape feature.
Papamoa Hills Regional Park today
The bulk of the Park was bought from the McNaughton family,
further additions to the Park include nine hectares provided by
Fulton Hogan Ltd and 28 hectares adjacent to SH2. The total size of
the park is 135 hectares. The Park was established in 2003 and
jointly owned by Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Tauranga City
Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council. From 2004,
Bay of Plenty Regional Council took sole ownership and management
responsibility for the Park.
Information derived from Boffa Miskell, September 2003 -
Cultural and Archaeological Assessment for 'Te Rae o Papamoa'