Rimurapa - Landscape Feature Precinct
Maori Sites of Te Whanganui a Tara
The rock formations off the coast at Rimurapa are associated with stories dating from the period of Kupe suggesting this was an area known from very early times.
Ngäti Mamoe came to the Wellington District about the beginning of the fourteenth century. Ngai Tara, the occupants of the region at the time, gave Ngäti Mamoe land extending from Rimurapa towards Omere (Cape Terawhiti) and northwards to Karori and Makara. This area was called Pahua. Ngäti Mamoe occupied Pahua for about 150 years, probably leaving around 1460 AD. On the boundary of Pahua is a Ngäti Mamoe pa, Taumata-Patiti, and Te Waikomaru, a Ngäti -Mamoe fortified village.
Rimurapa was one of three reserves along the Terawhiti south coast occupied at or shortly after the arrival of the Ngamotu people to Raukawa Moana in 1832.
The famous Red Rocks are within this precinct.
Evidence of Pene Te Hiko. Rimurapa case 23/7/1909, 16 Wgtn 292
Location: Mangarara Stream
Type of site: Fortified village
Known Iwi/Hapu connections: Ngäti Momoe
Condition: Not known
Best states "Te Wai-komaru. A Ngäti -Mamoe fortified village. Probably at the Mangarara stream" (1) and "Waikomaru pa. This small position showed, as late as 1911, post butts, hut sites and shell refuse. The hamlet must have been a very small one." (2)
Adkin repeats Best and states "Christie (pers. comm.) definitely placed it at
the Mangarara stream, and Best's 1916 map puts it on the east bank of this stream and just inside the beach, where there is a narrow, semi-isolated rocky spur-end - a site capable of easy defence." (3)
The WCC Maori Historical Information, Site Handbook, 1990 notes "Ngäti Mamoe were given a block of land on the South Wellington Coast, known as Pahua, by Ngai Tara, possibly as early as the 14th century."
1. Elsdon Best, "The Land of Tara", Journal of the Polynesian Society, vol 26,vol 27, vol 28, Pt5. p 175
2. Best, Pt 6, p9
3. Adkin, Leslie, The great harbour of Tara, (1959), p 94 and map p 123
Taumata Patiti Pa
Location: The cliffed end of the ridge running down to Rimurapa.
Type of site: Pa
Known Iwi/Hapu connections: Ngai Tara and Ngäti Mamoe
Ngäti Mamoe came to the Wellington District about the beginning of the fourteenth century. Ngai Tara, the occupants of the region at the time, gave Ngati Mamoe land extending from Rimurapa towards Omere (Cape Terawhiti) and northwards to Karori and Makara. This area was called Pahua. Ngäti Mamoe occupied Pahua for about 150 years, probably leaving around 1460 AD.
Taumata-Patiti was a Ngati Mamoe pa, probably small, on the south-eastern boundary of Pahua. (1)
Rimurapa was one of three reserves along the Terawhiti south coast occupied at or shortly after the arrival of Heke Tamate Uaua which brought the Ngamotu people to Raukawa Moana in 1832. (2)
In all three reserves the same hapu appears to be represented by the same group in either Rimurapa and Oterongo or by closely related people in the third reserve Waiariki. Ngäti Waiponga of Te Atiawa is closely related to Ngäti Tawhirikura of Pitone. When they first came back to the harbour under Te Wharepouri and Te Puni from the Wairarapa they resided with their Ngäti Tawhirikura relatives and cultivated with them at Whakahukawai. However a conflict arose over the death of a woman and these Ngäti Waipango people were forced to leave. They made their way to Pipitea and at the time of the alleged sale to the NZ Company resided at Pipitea with Te Matehou. They are shown in the lists presented to the Native Land Court sitting of 20 March 1888 listed under the heading Pipitea No 2. (3) After the testing of evidence they remain in the final list, 11 April 1888. (4) It is not clear from the evidence when they went to the south coast. It may have been before the Te Atiawa sojourn in the Wairarapa. We know they occupied the coast from Rimurapa to Oterongo but no attempt was made to create a Maori land title to Rimurapa until 1899. (5) It was a further 10 years before the Native Land Court issued a title to ten persons in equal shares. (6)
Rimurapa appears to have been principally a Waipango fishing station. Even in 1930s, when the Crown took it under the Public Works Act for coastal defenses that interest prevailed. In 1923 - in an expression of continuing interest - succession was sought to the interests of Kimi Matenga. (7) On 3 September 1936 the Public Works Department gazetted the proclamation appropriating the whole block for defence purposes. (8) On 18 December 1940 the Native Land Court assessed compensation for an area of 25 acres 3r 20p at 70 pound. (9) This land is now known as section 100 Terawhiti District and was gazetted as a recreation reserve in 1989. (10)
Archaeological work in the 1960s found evidence of made soil, karaka groves (damaged by the 1968 storm), terraces and middens and ovens in this area. Early plans SO 10432 and SO 10434 drawn in 1843 show "fishing huts" near the coast".
1. Adkin, Leslie, The great harbour of Tara, (1959), pp 59, 84 & Map Vl-l, p 84.
2. Evidence of Pene Te Hiko. Rimurapa case 23/7/1909, 16 Wgtn 2
3. Evidence of Wi Hape Pakau 2 Wtgn 76-77
4. 2 Wtgn 300-301 , Pipitea No.s 44-51
5 Application 19/2/1899 Kimi Matenga General Land File Wgtn 8 Rimurapa MLC Aotea District
6. 16 Wtgn 292 evidence of Pene te Hiko, 23/7/1909, General Land File, Wgtn 178 Rimarapa, MLC Aotea District
7. Application 29/1/1923 Matenga Peka, ibid
8. NZ Gazette 1936, PW 23/419
9. 33 Wtgn 184-186, MLC Aotea District
10. NZ Gazette 1989, 5763
11. NZ Archaeological Association N 164/93-96
Pari Whero (Red Rocks)
Location: Red Rocks, on the coast between Ohiro Bay and Rimurapa.
Type of site: Natural feature
Known Iwi/Hapu connections: Multiple
A much frequented area in earlier times, though apparently not a settlement site. Adzes and chisels hove been found in small rock caves (now buried).
There are at least two stories relating to the colour of this cliff. In one, Kupe was gathering paua here when one shellfish clamped his hand. He bled, and stained the rocks red.
In the other, the red of the rocks is the stain of the blood of Kupe's daughters. Fearing for their father's safety on a long voyage they gashed themselves in grief over his absence. (1)
1 . Adkin, Leslie, The great harbour of Tara, (1959), pp 63-64 & Map Vl-1 , p 84