Pits/ Terraces (Wairaka)

Pukerua Bay

  • Pits/ Terraces.
    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 6141 Date Entered 12th September 1984


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes part of the land described as Pt Wairaka 2 (CT WN22B/279); Wairaka 3 (CT WN824/11), Wellington Land District and the archaeological site known as Pits/ Terraces ('Wairaka') (R26/226) thereon (refer to the Archaeological Site Land Title Form for further information).

City/District Council

Porirua City


Wellington Region

Legal description

Pt Wairaka 2 (CT WN22B/279); Wairaka 3 (CT WN824/11), Wellington Land District


Setting: On coast about 1 .5 kilometres south-west of Pukerua Bay, and south of Wairaka Point. Site complex is on a terrace circa 100 metres above beach at the west (downslope end) of a broad, shallow gully that descends from the main ridge. Track, originating at radio pole cluster on the ridge leads down to and through site.

Archaeological Features: A series of rectangular pits (circa four) aligned parallel to the coast occur at the south side of the terrace, and a group (circa five) of rectangular scattered pits with raised rims occurs on the north side. Slumped terrace remnants are visible higher up south slopes of gully.

Supporting Evidence: This concentration of pits both with and without visible raised rims, and the presence of terraces in this secluded position corresponds to the position given by Best et al. (1916) for Wairaka Pa.

Condition of Site: Pits and terraces are in grass, but features are slightly indistinct through soil creep and infilling. Site is quite clear towards evening at times of low-angle light. More detailed observation and recording may produce more features than have at present been noted.

Assessment: The presence of this group of moderately-well preserved pits with terraces in a pleasant, secluded valley coincides with the positioning of the name ‘Wairaka Village’ by Best (1916) on his map. This site complex appears not to have been disturbed (except by natural factors) and probably is one of the few small settlement areas around Wellington that remains intact. It can tentatively be interpreted as probably a small coastal family settlement, with hut sites, storage pits, and adjacent agriculture terraces, probably dating from about the 1850s.

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Public NZAA Number


Completion Date

28th January 1983

Report Written By

I W Keyes

Information Sources

Best, 1916

E. Best, H. McLeod, H. Mason, 'Map of Wellington County District Showing Native Names', 1916, NZ Department of Lands and Survey

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.