Turirau Pa

358 Springfield Road, Napier

  • Turirau Pa. (V21/125) viewed from the location of (V21/12).
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: David Rudd. Date: 1/04/2014.
  • Turirau Pa. (V21/125).
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: David Rudd. Date: 1/04/2014.
  • Turirau Pa. Plan from Archaeological Site Land Title Form.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 6421 Date Entered 8th July 1985


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes part of the land described as Area V1 DP 429234 and part of the land described as Lot 1 DP 429234 (CT 514656), part of the land described as Area V2 DP 432709 and part of the land described as Lot 2 DP 432709 (CT 525396), Hawke's Bay Land District, and the archaeological site known as Turirau Pa (V21/125) thereon. Refer to the extent map tabled at the Heritage New Zealand Board meeting on 25 June 2015.

City/District Council

Hastings District


Hawke's Bay Region

Legal description

Area V1 DP 429234 and Lot 1 DP 429234 (CT 514656), Area V2 DP 432709 and Lot 2 DP 432709 (CT 525396), Hawke's Bay Land District


New Zealand Heritage List no. 6421 (NZAA site V21/125) is a ridgeline pa on farmland on the eastern side of Springfield Road, located to the west of Taradale and northeast of Waiohiki. The pa has cultural, traditional and historical significance and is one of a series of archaeological sites on the high ground above the terrace of the Tutaekuri River. This pa site is in close proximity to a pit/terrace site (NZAA V21/124) on a lower ridge to the southwest. A series of pits, with traces of terracing, lead down from the ridgeline pa to this pit/terrace site.

Local historian Pat Parsons has identified this pa as Turirau according to local Maori oral history. While Turirau (V21/125) is not rare it has important archaeological contextual and information value as an element of Māori occupation and settlement of the inland Tutaekuri River valley area. This settlement pattern is directly related to the resources and attributes of the Tutaekuri River. The river carries silt and gravel down a narrow valley through low hill country. In its natural state swamps on the river terrace would have absorbed floodwaters and served to provide eels and other resources to sustain the nearby settlements. The pits on the pa indicate that iwi were also cultivating the fertile soil of the area and storing their produce within the protective perimeter of the pa defences. The need to protect these crops suggests they were built during a time of conflict, or in preparation for conflict.

While the date of initial construction for the pa has not yet been determined it may have been constructed during a period of widespread pa building and occupation that was undertaken in the vicinity of Te Whanganui-a-Orotu and the Tutaekuri area from 1550 to 1700, around the time that Ngati Kahungunu iwi moved into the Hawkes’s Bay. Archaeological evidence and Maori oral history points to the initial settlement of Hawke’s Bay around 1250–1300 AD. Different hapu gradually settled the area from Mahia to Porangahau in a variety of diverse landscapes. About 1550 to 1625, Taraia, great grandson of Kahungunu, and his followers established themselves at Otatara, to the south of pa V21/125, to secure access to and control over Te Whanganui-a-Orotu and the Tutaekuri River. Pa V21/125 may have been part of a chain of pa constructed in the area at this time.

This ridgeline pa is on an eastern scarp visible from Springfield Road. It appears to be an incomplete defensive site with a gap of approximately 30 paces between the scarp on the eastern side and the ditches and banks on the northwest side. The interior of the site contains two visible storage pits and one possible house site. The features of the pa are generally in fair condition and well defined.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Public NZAA Number


Completion Date

28th May 2015

Report Written By

Christine Barnett

Other Information

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.

A fully referenced upgrade report is available on request from the Central Region Office of Heritage New Zealand