Ancient pā sites reopened in Hawke’s Bay with digital tours

Seven ancient Pa Maori sites in central Hawke’s Bay were resurrected and reopened to the public on Friday, with walking trails and a digital tour.

The project, Ngā Ara Tipuna, uses digital displays, sculptures and storytelling to show what Maori life was like in the area before Europeans arrived and restore traditional knowledge after much of it has been lost. .

It was officially opened on Friday and is centered on the historic Pukekaihau Pā, which is now the site of Hunter Memorial Park in central Waipukurau.

Visitors can download an application or use a QR Code to know the history and all the information available on the site.

Brain Morris, mana whenua, told Te Karere that although European history is well known, the history of the region’s Maori is not.

“So we want to spread our stories so that the next generation knows what their ancestors did.

Brian Morris, mana whenua

“The rest of the pā sites are on European land, if you know the landowners and ask permission you can go there, but most of them are now farmland.”

Ngā Ara Tipuna is a partnership between Tamatea Hapū, Te Taiwhenua o Tamatea and Central Hawke’s Bay District Council. A governance entity (Charitable Trust) was created to hold ultimate ownership of the assets.

Many locations will be free to explore at any time and will have digital content that visitors can view on their phones.

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