Takaka-Collingwood Highway (State Highway 60), Puramahoi

  • Pits (?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 5732 Date Entered 21st December 1983


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes part of the land comprised in the land described as Lot 1 DP 18437 (CT NL13C/113), Nelson Land District and the archaeological site known as Pa (M25/36). (Refer to the map on the Archaeological Site Land Title Form for more information).

City/District Council

Tasman District


Tasman Region

Legal description

Lot 1 DP 18437 (CT NL13C/113), Nelson Land District


Setting: Pa is situated on the eroded coastal edge of Pleistocene glacial outwash plains. Puramahoi ‘A’ is a naturally defended area on a small isolated plateau immediately west of the Pariwhakaoho River mouth.

Archaeological Features: A ditch lies on the north-east-facing ridge leading from the coastal strip to Puramahoi ‘A’ (M25/36). The interior of the pa consists of indistinct terraces lying on a mild slope facing to the north-east; the circumference of the plateau to the west, south and east is ringed with rectangular pits (16 in total). Brailsford (1981:86) has noted ovens 'on the plateau.

The coastal strip between the mouth of the Pariwhakaoho River on the lower slopes of this pa, and the lower slopes of .Puramahoi ‘B’ (M25/13), contains 3 sites (M25/37-39) probably continuous in extent, although this cannot be confirmed on present evidence.

Supporting Evidence: Date of occupation is not known, although traditions suggest late occupation. This site was probably attacked and defeated by Te Puoho in his 1828 progression through the South Island. M25/39 on the coastal strip below Puramahoi ‘B’ is reported to be a source of many fossicked greenstone artefacts, assumed to be late in date.

Assessment: Puramahoi ‘A’ (M25/36) exemplifies the naturally defended pa sites of Golden Bay. Three other examples are known, one of them heavily bulldozed (Te Rangihaeata Headland pa, N25/35). The clear association of the pa with a large volume or horticultural storage is notable. Taken as a complex with Puramahoi "B" pa and the sites of the linking coastal strip the site is the most important earthwork site in Golden Bay.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Public NZAA Number


Completion Date

21st April 1982

Report Written By

Kevin Jones

Information Sources

Brailsford, 1981

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

Jones, 1981

K. Jones, 'Archaeological Inspections: Golden Bay', Report to the Department of Lands and Survey, 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.