Otamataha Pa ( Cemetery Point) was one of the principal settlements in the early 1800's. The Pa belonged to Ngai Tukairangi and Ngati Tapu under the Chief Koraurau. At that time Tauranga was densely populated. Visitors counted thousands of canoes large and small, between the Wairoa River and Te Papa.
In 1828, Otamataha Pa was attacked by Ngati Maru under Te Rohu. Hundreds of Ngati Tapu and Ngai Tukairangi were slain, and a great number were taken captive. In the same battle Koraurau was slain. Those who escaped fled to places like Otuatara, Otumoetai, Oponui, Matakana and Matapihi where they settled in small hapu groups.
In 1881, Ngati Tapu built the first Tapukino wharenui at Te Mania at the Southern end of the railway bridge
In 1901, the hapu decided to move the marae to Waikari where it stands to this day.
In 1978 carving of the maihi amo and pare was commenced by Pita Whareaitu. The carving was all but completed when Pita passed away in 1979. The carvings were attached in 1982.
Excerpt was taken from Aku Taumata: Maori Council.
Page last updated 14 Dec 2007