Signs for Maori Heritage Trail

15 August 2011

New bilingual (English / Maori) signs have been installed to tell locals and visitors alike more about a series of Maori heritage sites around Wellington.

Te Ara o nga Tupuna - the path of our ancestors

Te Ara o nga Tupuna - the path of our ancestors

The interpretation panels have been placed next to five pouwhenua - red posts which mark sites of significance for local iwi. This will provide visitors to the city with more information about the Māori Heritage Trail - Te Ara o Ngā Tūpuna in time for Rugby World Cup 2011 and beyond.

The pouwhenua stand on or near pā sites and kāinga (villages). They are located at Te Tūranga o Kupe in Churchill Park on the Seatoun foreshore; Uruhau Pā (near Melbourne Road) and Te Mapunga Kāinga (Shorland Park) in Island Bay; Ōwhiro Kāinga on Happy Valley Road; and Waitangi Lagoon in Courtenay Place.

The signs provide snapshots of history - telling, for example, the stories of Te Aroaro-o-Kupe / Steeple Rock where legendary Māori voyager Kupe is said to have been dashed against the rock and badly injured, and the taniwha who abandoned the 'crying waters' of Waitangi Lagoon when European settlers arrived.

Nicky Karu, the Council's Treaty Relations Manager, says the enhanced trail will help Wellingtonians and international visitors understand the early Māori settlement of Wellington and the stories that make this place unique.