Mangaheia Station, Tauwhareparae Road, Tolaga Bay

  • Pa. Looking north.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Joanna Wylie. Date: 17/11/2007.
  • Pa. Looking east .
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Joanna Wylie. Date: 17/11/2007.
  • 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 6544 Date Entered 25th September 1986 Date of Effect 25th September 1986


Extent of List Entry

Registration includes part of the land described as Pt Lot 1 DP 372, Block XI Uawa SD, Gisborne Land District, and the pa known as Y17/145 (NZAA Site Record Number) thereon.

City/District Council

Gisborne District


Gisborne Region

Legal description

Pt Lot 1 DP 372, Blk XI Uawa SD (RT GS1C/129), Gisborne Land District


Pa site Y17/145 is a small, naturally defended pa that forms part of the dense archaeological landscape of the Tolaga Bay (Uawa) area. It is located on the northwest-southeast running ridgeline between Waitahota and Poroporo Streams, Mangaheia Station, west of Tolaga Bay.

Pa site Y17/145 is one of the numerous pa that have been recorded in the Tolaga Bay area, mostly located on the prominent hills and ridgelines which afforded excellent natural defences and provided commanding views of the surrounding landscape. These pa and the many other archaeological sites recorded in the Uawa region such as pit and terrace complexes, midden, gardens and urupa reflect the intensive occupation of this landscape by Maori from the time of initial Polynesian settlement approximately 700 years ago. Access to abundant food resources from the sea, rivers, inland forests and horticultural production (kumara) meant that a large population could be sustained. It has been estimated that the early Maori population of Tolaga Bay totalled approximately 1200; and the main iwi was Te Aitanga a Hauiti.

Pa site Y17/145 is located in pasture on a northwest-southeast running ridgeline between Waitahota and Poroporo Streams, approximately one kilometre west of Mangaheia Road. Narrow ridges to the east and west act as natural defences, as do the steep slopes to the north and south, and the pa provides commanding strategic views of the surrounding area. Pa site Y17/146 is located immediately to the southeast of Y17/145, separated by a narrow ridge, and there are a number of pit and pit/terrace sites on the flats to the north, on the south side of the Waitahota Stream.

This pa was first recorded by archaeologist Kevin Jones during his archaeological survey work in the Whangara, Tolaga Bay and Uawa Catchment areas in 1982-1983. This survey work was undertaken to gain information about the nature of prehistoric settlement in this locality, and also to evaluate specific sites for registration under the Historic Places Act 1980. Jones noted that the pa was naturally defended; a common characteristic of pa in the East Coast region, but then described an eroded defensive terrace at the western end of the pa, and completed a section drawing of the exposed fill. The pa was approximately 60 metres in length, and a number of terraces, small depressions and the remnants of raised rim pits were located on the tihi or platform of the pa. Some stock damage was observed. Jones later estimated that pa sites Y17/145 and Y17/146 occupied a total of 300 metres of ridgeline, and could have sustained a population of 73 individuals.

In 2000, pa site Y17/145 was revisited by archaeologist Vanessa Tanner as part of the New Zealand Archaeological Association Site Recording Scheme Upgrade Project. Tanner found the site to be as originally recorded, but was unable to observe the fill of the western defensive terrace, which was 'vague and slumping'. Stock damage was also noted as ongoing threat to the site. No major changes to the site were observed during a New Zealand Historic Places Trust site visit in November 2007.

Pa site Y17/145 is one of the numerous pa recorded in the Tolaga Bay area, particularly in the Mangaheia Valley, and it is part of a much wider archaeological and cultural landscape that is of considerable significance to Te Aitanga a Hauiti. This landscape reflects the intensive Maori occupation and settlement of the Tolaga Bay area since the 14th - 15th centuries AD.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Public NZAA Number


Completion Date

8th March 2008

Report Written By

Joanna Wylie

Information Sources

Department of Conservation

Department of Conservation

Cooks Cove Walkway, Gisborne, 1998

New Zealand Journal of Archaeology

New Zealand Journal of Archaeology

Kevin Jones and Garry Law, 'Prehistoric Population Estimates for the Tolaga Bay Vicinity, East Coast, North Island, New Zealand', Volume 9, 1987, pp. 81-114.

New Zealand Archaeological Association (NZAA)

New Zealand Archaeological Association

Site Record Form for Y17/145, original 1982 form and 2000 update.

Other Information

Iwi/ Hapu/ Whanau: Te Aitanga a Hauiti

A fully referenced upgrade report is available from the NZHPT Lower Northern Area Office

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.