Wednesday, 25 November 2020


Taputapuatea footbridge open

The Taputapuatea footbridge and walkway next to Buffalo Beach, Whitianga, was recently opened with a karakia by Ngāti Hei kaumatua, Joe Davis.

Construction of the 12-metre long timber bridge began more than a year ago after consultation with iwi. However, work ceased after Heritage New Zealand requested a formal cultural values assessment of the sacred site from Ngāti Hei, which delayed the earthworks consent approval.

An archaeological study describes how the location beside the Taputapuatea Stream is at the base of a hill that is home to Te Wahine Moeroa o Taputapuatea Pa. This has significant links to Taputapuatea Marae on the coast of Raiatea, Tahiti, the ancestral and spiritual homeland of the waka-voyaging explorers who crossed the Pacific and established themselves in Aotearoa. It is believed Kupe, the great Polynesian explorer, named the stream and pa after the Tahitian marae because of its similar natural flora and fauna.

Pictured: The Taputapuatea footbridge and walkway next to Buffalo Beach.


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