Ancient pā sites reopening celebrated in Hawke's Bay

By Kelvin McDonald
Credit / Central Hawke's Bay District Council

The completion of the first phase of a project to reopen six ancient pā sites to the public was celebrated at a ceremony at the historic Pukekaihau Pā in Waipukurau in central Hawke’s Bay on Friday.

The project, Ngā Ara Tipuna, uses features like storyboards, carvings and re-creations at each site, together with online resources such as an app and QR codes, to tell the story of the tīpuna who lived there prior to tauiwi arrival in Aotearoa.

The six pā sites are Pukekaihau Pā, Te Waipukurau Pā, Moana-i-Rokia Pā, Horehore Pā, Ruatangaroa Pā and Kaitoroa Pā.

Credit:  Mayor Alex Walker / Facebook

Mana whenua representative Brian Morris (Ngāti Mārau, Ngāi Te Rangitotohu) says they are excited to have reached this stage after more than five years of planning and construction.

“We are very pleased to finally celebrate the completion of this phase of Ngā Ara Tipuna. It is a model of what can be achieved when mana whenua and local authorities work together from inception through to completion.” 

Morris says the history of Māori in the area is not well known and mana whenua want to ensure the next generation knows what their ancestors did.

WATCH Ngā Ara Tipuna celebration.  Credit / Central Hawke's Bay District Council