Te Waiatenui Pa

Milford Lagoon Road,

  • Te Waiatenui Pa.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 5726 Date Entered 17th August 1984


Extent of List Entry

Registration includes part of the land comprised in Rakipaoa Maori Reserve 883 (CT CB561/18), Canterbury Land District and the archaeological site known as Te Waiatenui Pa (see the Archaeological Site Land Title Form for more information).

City/District Council

Timaru District


Canterbury Region

Legal description

Rakipaoa Maori Reserve 883 (CT CB561/18), Canterbury Land District


Setting: South of Opihi River, on the edge of river terrace beside Orakipaoa Creek.

Archaeological Features: Te Waiateruati Pa is an early musket pa. There are earthwork defences (ditches and banks) on all four sides and the site is divided into two by an interior bank. There are pits in the interior near the banks which may be part of the defences.

Supporting evidence: Historical and traditional evidence indicates that the site was occupied in the 1830s and 1840s and was abandoned soon after l848. The site was probably fortified in the early 1830s in response to Te Rauparaha’s capture of Kaiapoi and Onawe. In the 1840s the site was the major settlement in South Canterbury (Anderson 1980). It was visited by numbers of travellers including Shortland, Selwyn and Montell. There are a number of descriptions of the settlement, sketches, and census records.

Assessment: Historically Te Waiateruati Pa is the most important settlement in South Canterbury in the 1830s and 1840s; a critical period when settlement and economy were responding to changed conditions created by the introduction of new crops and technology. There is considerable potential for the study of historical and archaeological evidence in conjunction and this is a key site, for study of the protohistoric period in South Canterbury.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1830 - 1849

Public NZAA Number


Completion Date

21st April 1981

Report Written By

A. J. Walton

Information Sources

New Zealand Journal of Archaeology

New Zealand Journal of Archaeology

A. Anderson, 'Towards an explanation of protohistoric social organisation and settlement pattern amongst Southern Ngai Tahu', 1980, vol. 2, pp. 3-23.

Brailsford, 1981

B Brailsford, The Tattooed Land - The Southern Frontiers of the Pa Maori, A H & A W Reed, Wellington 1981

Other Information

Information in this report is from the citation prepared for the NZHPT Archaeology Committee at the time of the registration.

Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.