Nau mai, haere mai | Welcome to Historic Tauranga

Ngā Tapuwae ki Te Papa | Footprints on Te Papa will take you on a tour of historical Tauranga from Sixth Avenue to Te Pari Taha | Sulphur Point, and introduce you to some of the fauna and flora that either grow, make their home on, or visit Te Papa Peninsula.

Tēnei Pukapuka | About

Ngā Tapuwae ki Te Papa | Footprints on Te Papa honours the footprints of our first peoples right through the generations to today, as we leave our footprints for future generations.

Tūpuna | Ancestors

Navigating back and forth across Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa | the Pacific Ocean in their double hulled voyaging waka from the time of Kupe in c. 925, the first peoples settled in Tauranga Moana during the 13th Century. The main voyaging waka into the Western Bay of Plenty were:  

  • Tākitimu: Ngāti Ranginui.
  • Mātaatua: Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngā Pōtiki & Ngāti Pūkenga.
  • Te Arawa: Waitaha, Tapuika, Ngāti Makino, Ngāti Whakaue

Mana Whenua | Customary Authority

The hapū of Ngāi Tamarāwaho (Ngāti Ranginui iwi), Ngāti Tapu (Ngāi Te Rangi iwi) and other hapū have jurisdiction over Te Papa Peninsula. Land on the peninsula (purchased for the benefit of Māori) was given to the Crown by the Church Missionary Society in March 1866. The Anglican Church officially apologised for this action in December 2018.

Te Kāpehu Whetū | Celestial Compass (14)

Located at Te Pari Taha | Sulphur Point, this working model of a celestial compass demonstrates traditional navigation. It was built by Pwo Navigator, Tiaki Wepiha Te Kapene Thatcher / John Webster Te Kapene Thatcher (CNZM) ‘Jack’ of Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Pūkenga, Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti & Ngāti Awa descent.

Mauao ‘Caught by the Dawn’

Footprints - Small Cover

In legend Mauao, our taonga tīpuna (treasured ancestor), was dragged down from the Hautere forest by the patupaiarehe (bush fairies) and along the eastern side of Te Papa Peninsula before being ‘caught by the dawn’ at the entrance to Te Awanui | Tauranga Harbour. Read the Legend of Mauao here.

Te Papa Peninsula, site of Ōtamataha Pā

Te Papa Peninsula was home to a thriving Māori community before the 1828 Ōtamataha Pā Massacre pitched the traditional weapons of local Māori against the muskets of the invaders. Today, part of the pā site is the Mission Cemetery (17).

Te Papa Mission Station (est. 1835), today The Elms | Te Papa Tauranga (18, 19, 20), is linked to the Battle of Gate Pā | Pukehinahina which look place on 29 April 1864. This battle is remembered for the defeat of Imperial troops and the compassionate actions of Māori in giving water to their wounded enemy.

On 21 June 1864, Māori were defeated during the massacre at Te Ranga. The colonial New Zealand government took land (raupatu) from Māori, and the military township of Tauranga was founded. Tauranga was gazetted as a borough in 1882 and became a city (for the second time) in 2004.