458-466 Clifton Road, Clifton

  • Pa, Clifton. View from the west.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: David Rudd. Date: 1/04/2014.
  • Pa, Clifton. A raised-rim pit at the base of the terracing looking south-west.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: David Rudd. Date: 1/04/2014.
  • Pa, Clifton. 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 6508 Date Entered 22nd April 1985


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes part of the land described as Lot 8 DP 27414 (CT HBW4/33), Hawke's Bay Land District, part of the land described as Lot 2 Deed 915 (CT 30997), Hawke's Bay Land District, and part of the land described as Lot 3 Deed 915 (CT HBW4/33), Hawke's Bay Land District, and the archaeological site known as Pa (W21/4) thereon, as shown on the location map appended to the notification letter dated 22 April 1985.

City/District Council

Hastings District


Hawke's Bay Region

Legal description

Lot 8 DP 27414 (CT HBW4/33), Lot 2 Deed 915 (CT 30997) and Lot 3 Deed 915 (CT HBW4/33), Hawke's Bay Land District


NZAA site W21/4 (New Zealand Heritage List no. 6508) is a terraced pa and associated kainga site on the end of a ridge between the Maraetotara River and the coast. It overlooks the road to Cape Kidnappers. The pa backs onto a cliff running east to west to the north, and a cliff formed by the river terrace to the southwest. The pa is one of a number of pa on the ridges and small platforms on uplifted marine terraces near Cape Kidnappers / Mataupo Maui. Further inland along the river valley there are small areas with raised-rim pits, indicating gardening nearby. The pa is of cultural, traditional, archaeological and historical significance.

While pa W21/4 is not rare it is has important archaeological contextual and information value as an element of Maori occupation and settlement in this archaeologically rich setting on the fringe of Cape Kidnappers / Mataupo Maui. The settlement pattern of this area is directly linked to the resources and geography of the Maraetotara River and the coastal environment of Hawke’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 from the coast to the inland forests. The tangata whenua of the Te Awanga (Clifton) area can trace permanent occupation back to the Te Kakano or archaic period of Polynesian settlement. Isolated pockets of Kupe people settled along the Wairarapa coast and came into contact with the descendant of Whatonga who had migrated south from Mahia. Whatonga’s son Tara was born at Te Awanga and is the ancestor for Ngai Tara.

The sites in the area are associated with the descendants of Te Aomatarahi. Mahangapuhua, a son of Whiringarakau, established a pa called Te Pa o Mahanga at Te Awanga. Tama-ariki and Hine-te-ao also occupied this area. Later the area was under the influence of Te Whatui-a-piti through his son Hikawera. Through strategic marriage of the descendants of Ngati Kahungunu, Te Whatui-a-piti and Te Aomatarahi merged the people into the hapu of today. The main hapu interests in Te Awanga are Ngati Kurukuru, Ngati Hikatoa, Ngati Whakaiti, Ngati Ura ki te ao and Ngati Hawea.

When the site was recorded in 1973 the defences of this pa were fairly well preserved, though there was some erosion due to the gravel matrix in which the defences were constructed. These defences consisted of a substantial rampart and ditch across the neck of the ridge, which continued as a low bank along the north side facing the coast. A short length of ditch and bank cuts off the track up the end of the spur from the beachfront to the east. The interior of the pa had many irregular terraces and platforms and six – ten raised rim pits, with external drain systems. In 2013 site damage to a portion of the defensive wall by logging operators was reported. In 2014 the ditches of the pa were not visible and only the eastern bank remained. A large undefended terrace was located to the north of the cliff and has visible midden and oven stones on it. Most remaining features are still definable, although substantial damage has occurred in some areas due to stock and farm tracks. The ground in this area is prone to slipping and erosion.

At this point in time the location has not been identified with a specific Maori name.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Public NZAA Number


Completion Date

3rd June 2015

Report Written By

Christine Barnett

Information Sources

Jones, 1994

Kevin L. Jones, Nga Tohuwhenua mai te Rangi: A New Zealand Archaeology in Aerial Photographs, Wellington, 1994

Pollock, 2012

'Hawke’s Bay region - Māori settlement and occupation', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 13-Jul-12

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