A045. Huharua, Pukewhanake, and Nga Kuri a Wharei
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2.1 LOCATION AND PEOPLE OF PUKEWHANAKE
Pukewhanake is an ancient pa site located on the spur of a low hill running along the west bank of Wairoa River, near the river mouth. Today, Pukewhanake is included within the boundaries of lot 178, Parish of Te Puna, which is privately owned farmland (see Figure 6).63 It is visible from Te Puna Station Road which runs parallel to the hill and is fenced on private farm land. Pukewhanake is also near to where the East Coast Main Trunk Railway crosses the Wairoa River. The hill remains eye catching: Not because of any natural feature but rather because it has one side sheered away by quarrying (see Figure 10).
Pukewhanake is a very important site to Ngati Ranginui because it was the site of their first settlement in Tauranga. When Ranginui, the son of Tamatea Pokai Whenua, bought his people to Tauranga, he settled at Pukewhanake, and subsequently established Ngati Ranginui in the area by defeating Ngamarama.64 J.A. Wilson provides the following account:
Pukewhanake is therefore associated with the very establishment of Ngati Ranginui in Tauranga, and more particularly along the Wairoa River.
As well as Pukewhanake, there are many pa sites on both sides of the river, that have been identified by Des Kahotea as belonging to the hapu of Ngati Kahu, Ngati Pango, and Ngati Rangi (see Figure 7).66 These hapu are today generally considered as hapu of Ngati Ranginui, but they also trace their descent from Ngamarama.
63 Certificate of Title, 21B/122
64 Turi Te Kani and Wiremu Ohia, ‘A Maori History of Tauranga Moana’, in Evelyn Stokes, Te Raupatu o Tauranga Moana: Volume 2: Documents Relating to Tribal History, Confiscation and Reallocation of Tauranga Lands, University of Waikato, 1992, p 19
65 ‘Extract from J.A. Wilson, The Story of Te Waharoa and Sketches of Ancient Maori Life and History in Stokes, 1992, p 68
66 Des Tatana Kahotea, ‘Ngati Kahu, Ngati Pango, Ngati Rangi: Draft Report for the Waitangi Tribunal’, 1996