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More than $100k for Central Hawke's Bay Historic Pā Site Visitor Experience


More than $100k for Central Hawke's Bay Historic Pā Site Visitor Experience

Monday 10 June 2019


Central Hawke’s Bay District Council (CHBDC) in partnership with Te Taiwhenua o Tamatea will receive $104,764 of Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment funding for Ngā Ara Tipuna, a visitor experience project that will bring historic pā sites back to life.

The concept of Ngā Ara Tipuna was put forward to the council as part of Project Thrive. The council seed funded the proof of concept which has enabled this project to further progress.

Ngā Ara Tipuna, will highlight the network of pā that encircled the rich food resource that was Lake Whatumā and bring the hidden freshwater economy and culture of local Māori to light. The project will use installations, signage and digital storytelling to engage locals and visitors, inspiring them to see this landscape in a fresh light.

The first phase of the project is to develop Pukekaihau Pā site, in central Waipukurau. It will be a place for visitors to learn about and reflect on Waipukurau’s vibrant early history through sculptures and digital storytelling. Visitors will discover the lives of the first people of this region, and see the landscape as it once was – dominated and shaped by water and forest.

The council and Te Taiwhenua welcome this initial investment from the Provincial Growth Fund which will fund the early development stages of Ngā Ara Tipuna, however funding is still required to accelerate the construction and delivery phases of the project. An additional application to the Provincial Growth Fund is currently being assessed by the Provincial Growth Unit and, if successful, visitors and locals could enjoy the full Ngā Ara Tipuna experience by 2021. Ngā Ara Tipuna will not only reinstate the presence of manawhenua on the landscape, but will also drive economic prosperity in the district, with local hapū supported by the council to develop sustainable business propositions to leverage this community asset.

Alex Walker, Mayor of Central Hawke’s Bay said: “We have been working hand in hand with Te Taiwhenua o Tamatea and hāpu repesentatives to develop Ngā Ara Tipuna which has great significance for the people in our rohe. It brings to life the stories of our land, culture and history which enrich our communities. These stories are taonga which are unique to our area. It’s important that we celebrate these taonga and provide a platform for future generations and visitors to appreciate them too.”

Brian Morris, Project Lead for Te Taiwhenua o Tamatea, said: “This joint project reflects the many ways in which Te Taiwhenua and the council can work together on something that benefits not just Māori who whakapapa to the rohe but also to the wider community.

“Ngā Ara Tipuna is about giving a voice to the things that existed on the land hundreds of years ago, and an acknowledgement of the people, or tīpuna, who lived here prior to European settlement and whose descendants are still here today.

“While the pā sites may seem like isolated spots today, they were actually a network of pā strategically placed in harmony with wetlands and the waterways to protect that an important resource. The rights and the mana of those places shifted through the generations depending on who was stronger, political alliances, marriages between hapū, and the natural environment. “


  • The Provincial Growth Fund is administered by the Provincial Development Unit, part of the NZ Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment. The Government has allocated three billion dollars over a three-year term to invest in regional economic development through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).
  • Project Thrive is the council’s strategic framework which was developed in partnership with the community. It reflects the community’s aspirations for Central Hawke’s Bay, Council’s objectives, values and strategic direction.


Authorised by:

CHBDC Chief Executive: Monique Davidson

Project Lead for Te Taiwhenua o Tamatea: Brian Morris

Media contact 

Monique Davidson |T 06 857 8060, M 027 422 9977 

Kim Parker, Communications and Engagement Manager |M 027 297 0542 

11 June 2019

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