The Toitu Tauraka Waka is the first place in Te Wai Pounamu to be recognised for its ancestral significance as a wāhi tūpuna under the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014 on 22 January 2016.
This recognises the importance of this site and its place in New Zealand’s national identity.
The occasion will be marked by the unveiling of a commemorative plaque at 10.30am on 22 March at John Wickliffe Plaza, Princes Street, Dunedin.
The Toitu Tauraka Waka was one of several Kāti Mamoe-Kāi Tahu landing places in the Otago Harbour at the time of colonial settlement in the Otago region.
During the earliest years of colonial settlement of Dunedin the tauraka waka area became a vibrant trade and market place for a brief period of time.
The Toitu Tauraka Waka wāhi tūpuna site commemorates the traditional lifestyle of the Kāi Te Pahi, Kāti Moki, and Kāti Taoka hapū and the short-lived trading activity that took place at the landing site once colonists first arrived in Otago.