Pa (Headland) Makara pa


  • Pa (Headland) Makara pa.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust.
  • .
    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 6143 Date Entered 19th July 1984


City/District Council

Wellington City


Wellington Region

Legal description

Sec 1 SO 30658 Block II Port Nicholson SD

Location description

On the prominent headland at the western end of Ohariu Bay.


Setting: On northern (lower) end of long coastal ridge, on west side of Owhariu Bay, overlooking (immediately below to east) Warehou (or ‘Fishermans’ Bay). Wellington West Coast. Site in commanding position with clear view to South Island, and north along coast.

Archaeological Features: A small, triangular-shaped, headland pa, with steep, cliffed natural defences on east and west sides, and defended by an artificial ditch and bank on the wide south side, directly above a shallow intersecting transverse gully. Site is terraced, with pallisade post-holes present behind ditch and bank defences. Site was illustrated by the Evening Post (7 December 1957), and Davis

(1959, plate 2, 3) but O'Rourke (1962) provided a surveyed plan drawing (also repeated by McFadgen 1974).

Supporting Evidence: Excavations on this site by the Wellington Archaeological Society in 1962 (O'Rourke 1962 and 1967); (McFadgen 1974) elucidated the construction of the ditch and bank defences; the 'post holes' were confirmed as pallisade post holes, and terraces were examined. Two fourteenth century dates (Brodie 1962) were obtained from palisade post timber and shells (see McFadgen 1974, p. 63). Site marked by Best et al. (1916) and named ‘Wharehou’. Termed ‘Warehou’ elsewhere.

Condition of Site: Slight natural erosion, but in fairly good condition. Terraces and defensive ditch and bank well preserved. Mention of site included in Lands & Survey 'Makara Walkway' brochure and shown on walkway map.

Assessment: A small, well preserved, headland pa site, with a spectacular coastal view over Cook Strait. One of the very few surviving sites in the Wellington region with clearly exposed, artificial earthworks. A particularly good imposing and ‘representative’ pa site for the Wellington region with fairly easy access.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Public NZAA Number


Completion Date

28th January 1983

Report Written By

I W Keyes

Information Sources

Evening Post

Evening Post

'They probe secrets of ancients Maori fortress', 7 December 1957

New Zealand Archaeological Association (NZAA)

New Zealand Archaeological Association

J. W. Brodie, 'A Reconnaissance of Warehou Pa, Makara', NZAA Newsletter, 1962, Vol. 5, no. 3, pp.156-159; S Davis, 'A Summary of Field Archaeology from the Dominion Museum Group', NZAA Newsletter, 1959, Vol. 2, no. 4, pp.15-19; B. McFadgen, 'Further Excavations at Warehou Pa (N160/1), at Makara Beach, NZAA Newsletter, 1974, Vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 57-64; M. O'Rouke, 'Excavations at Warehou Pa', NZAA Newsletter, 1962, Vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 150-156

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.