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Protecting our precious places

Protecting natural and cultural features of Coromandel pa sites

One of the largest and best preserved pa sites on the Peninsula

Close to Kuaotunu beach, Ian Simpson protected a complex pa site and regenerating coastal forest on his farm with a 23ha covenant in 2005.

An archaeologist’s report states ‘the archaeological landscape within the Simpson farm is remarkable for the number of site types in it, the span of New Zealand’s history that these relate to, and for their good state of preservation both as individual sites and as a coherent archaeological landscape.’

The archaeologist also considers ‘this pa is either the largest pa on Coromandel Peninsula, or failing that is close to the largest.’

Coromandel pa site

Above: On top of a hill, the main pa (possibly called Aotearoa or Pukeumu) overlooks the whole of the Kuaotunu area. The covenant also protects historic horizontal gold mining tunnels.

Sympathetic stock management by the Simpson family has helped to preserve the banks and scarps and a number of kumara pits.

Ngati Hei and the Department of Conservation were highly supportive of protecting this significant pa site with an open space covenant in perpetuity.

Dairy farmers preserve Pukemaire Pa as well as an ecological corridor

In 2008, Dirk and Katherine Sieling protected a semi-coastal forest remnant and riparian wetland with a 5ha covenant on their dairy farm on the Whitianga floodplains.

The covenant also protects the site of Pukemaire Pa. A local interpretation for the name is ‘place of spirits’.

Coromandel pa site

Above: Forming a backdrop to the Whitianga landscape, the Sieling Covenant protects the Pukemaire Pa site as well as semi-coastal forest.

‘This defensive pa was constructed as a place where Ngati Hei could flee to when they were under attack,’ explains Dirk.

‘We had discussions with Ngati Hei when we were planning to build a house below the bush. In recognition of their agreement for the house, we protected the bush and the pa site with a QEII covenant.

'The agreement reached with Ngati Hei is a good example of outcomes being achieved that benefit both parties.’

Coromandel ecological corridor

Above: On the dairy farm that runs 250 cows, the covenant also protects a wetland and the banks of the Taputapuatea Stream, providing an ecological corridor for wildlife.


For advice on the best management and protection for a particular archaeological site, please contact the Historic Places Trust

All Photos: Hamish Kendal


Open Space™ Magazine No. 78, March 2010 © QEII National Trust

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