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Puketapu ki Paraparaumu Hapū
of Te Atiawa ki Whakarongotai Iwi


About Puketapu Hapu Te Atiawa

Puketapu is a Hapū of Te Atiawa arrived on the Kāpiti Coast in large numbers from Taranaki on the heke Mairaro1828  following the first heke of Ngati Toa and Ngati Awa (Te Atiawa) in 1822.  Puketapu Chiefs who took part in the various Heke from Taranaki were Te Whakapeheke (heke Tataramoa), Te Manutohuroa (Te Heke Mairaro), Tautara (Tamateeuaua Heke 1832) and Te Ura (Paukena heke 1834).


Puketapu settled on the whenua Te Uruhi which we now know as Paraparaumu.  At least 9 pa in the Paraparaumu area have been recorded and evidence of  Puketapu’s principle Pa Te Uruhi, the large Pa Wharemauku on both sides of the Wharemauku stream outlet and Mataihuka in Raumati still exist in the archaeological record in terms of surface evidence1.


In  the 1887 Ngarara West Partition Ihakara Te Ngarara claimed for Puketapu hapū. The Puketapu ancestral boundary line was said to go from Kenakena to Pukahu to Ngatoto. Ihakara Te Ngarara said that Puketapu had no claim outside this boundary and that this boundary had been fixed by a native committee convened at the time of the southern Crown purchases. Rehere Tahuaroa added that a post had been erected at Kenakena to mark the boundary with Ngati Otaraua. He further explained the Puketapu boundary went from Kenakena to the hills, where it turned to accommodate Ngati Otaraua’s land2.


Te Atiawa historian Danny Keenan describes how our people denote value to the various aspects of their mauri ora:

  • Mana Whakapapa: is the framework through which tribal narrative is organised and mediated into tribal and hapū Mana Māori Histories.

  • Mana Whenua: is described as the power associated with the land, including inherited rights, power of control and the protection and conservation of especially sacred sites.

  • Mana Tangata: is the authority and vigour of the tribe, hapū and individual.


Today’s whānau of Puketapu ki Paraparaumu have endured almost complete loss of these fundamental Mana.  Our history is not present or expressed, our lands have been taken without recognition, we do not have an Urupa, all of which have been destroyed, and we do not have a recognition of our mana whenua here in Paraparaumu.


The emergence of a Wharenui for Puketapu ki Paraparaumu in the heart of Paraparaumu is the beginning of pride and mana enhancing activity for our future tamariki, rangatahi and whānau.


What are the intended outcomes from the Cultural Centre/Wharenui?


To provide Puketapu ki Paraparaumu and related Hapū with a home base and cultural gathering space that in turn be shared with the community. The building of the Wharenui will bring together our Kaumatua, Kuia, our whakapapa experts, our historians our artists, carvers, weavers, our whānau and iwi together to give birth to this Whare and in turn for the Whare to enfold us and celebrate our being.


To provide our whānau with job opportunities that are focused on the best we can be as whānau Māori and as Iwi. From building, adorning the whare to sharing its taonga with our community and visitors. Embracing the kaupapa of the Wharenui in its role within the Wharemauku Park, education, environmental initiatives and kaitiakitanga of the waterway Wharemauku and wetlands will be a very exciting role for the Whare and all who share this vision.


With our partners, Ngahina Developments, Whale Song and Coastlands, the proposed Cultural Centre/Wharenui will have a commercial arm to its economic development activities. The business planning stage including focus areas of the various income streams and job creation predicted is being worked on currently.


Comment from Wharenui designer Ra Vincent, also of Te Wharenui o Puketapu ki Paraparaumu :


Te Wharenui o Puketapu ki Paraparaumu represents the presence of the tangata Whenua in Paraparaumu. It’s design draws influence from traditional whare construction, keeping elements sacred and familiar to storytelling and ceremony consistent. The contemporary aspects of the Wharenui serve to tell our stories through a timeless engaging aesthetic. 

The narrative written in the tukutuku panels, coloured glass, the wakairo and the precast structure of the Wharenui will be knit together to become one living body.

Once finished the whare will be able to keep on display some taonga and forever changing exhibits for our whanau and for our visitors.

As we move towards a sustainable future for our tamariki this Wharenui will be both inspirational and pioneering in the use of environmentally positive energy systems.

The Marae and public café overlooking Whale Song will support its own organic gardens, collect water and redistribute grey water the way that it always was meant to be.

We will take advantage of modern technologies for our solar electricity and passive heating requirements. The park can accommodate state of the art interactive visitor experiences in the form of AR guided tours or information boards sharing more of what Paraparaumu, Wharemauku stream, Puketapu and Whale Song have to offer.

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