Pa and Kainga

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Ancient pa  and kainga scatter Te Tau Ihu o Waka. European settlers certainly did not arrive in a "barren social and cultural landscape..."1

Webber, John:The inside of a hippah in New Zealand.Webber, John, ca 1750-1793 :The inside of a hippah in New Zealand. Alexander Turnbull Library, B-098-023 [possibly on Motuara Island]
Click on image to enlarge

Maori lived communally, usually in kainga or in fortified pa. In more settled times communities lived close to cultivations, tauranga waka , water supply, and food and other resources (in rivers, estuaries, forests, the sea). When their security was threatened they resorted to pa on sites chosen for their view of surrounding countryside and/or sea, their defensibility, and their strategic value. Access to food, water, and waka transport was still important, but adaptations, such as storage pits for food and waka hulls to collect water, could be made.

There were various reasons why pa or kainga could be left to decay. Habitations taken in battle might be occupied by the victors, or they could be left deserted and a new settlement created some distance away. A whole village could be abandoned and declared tapu on the death of a chief of high mana, and some actions or events warranted the burning of houses. Long-abandoned ancient pa sites are still known through oral tradition and archaeology.

A strong characteristic of traditional Maori lifestyle was its mobility. Whole communities would move for harvests at certain times of the year, for fishing and hunting seasons, for planting crops (sometimes at a better location), for whanau or political reasons, and, of course, because of conflict or scarce resources. The customary practice of whakaarahi  to maintain ahi kaa roa , and to confirm tribal dominance of territories, was expressed through this itinerant lifestyle.

As European visitors arrived, and whalers took up at least seasonal residence, Maori often shifted to be close to trading opportunities. The missionary base of Rev. Samuel Ironside at Ngakuta, Port Underwood, influenced residential patterns, and the great influx of New Zealand Company settlers from 1842 caused further moves, so that Maori could take advantage of the new economy.

At the time of European settlement, major Maori communities of Ngati Toa, Ngati Rarua, Te Atiawa, Ngati Koata and Ngati Tama were recorded at:

  • several pa near the mouth of the Wairau River
  • a number of bays in Port Underwood close to onshore whaling stations
  • almost every bay in Tory Channel (another whaling base), and Moioio Island
  • various sites on Arapaoa Island
  • Waitohi (Picton)
  • many bays throughout Totaranui (Queen Charlotte Sound) from Anakiwa to Port Gore
  • a number of sites in the Pelorus Valley and Sound to as far out as Titirangi on the southern coast of Cook Strait
  • Rangitoto (D'Urville Island) several
  • Whangarae (Croisilles)
    Messenger, Arthur:Taupo [Pa], Massacre Bay. 1921 [i.e 1844]Messenger, Arthur Herbert 1877-1962 :Taupo [Pa], Massacre Bay. 1921 [i.e 1844], Alexander Turnbull Library, A-173-015
    Click on image to enlarge
  • Motueka (with an estimated population of 500 Maori)
  • Marahau
  • Whariwharangi, Taupo, and three sites at Wainui
  • Tata, Ligar Bay, Pohara, Motupipi, and Takaka
  • Pariwhakaoho, Tukurua, Parapara
  • Aorere (Collingwood)
  • Tomatea, Pakawau, Te Rae
  • West Whanganui and Te Tai Tapu (three sites).

There were also small groups of Kurahaupo people at Waihopai, Kaituna, Pelorus and near Wakefield. Rangitane lived with Ngati Toa and Ngati Rarua at the Wairau.

Many of these locations were set aside as Occupation Reserves for the inhabitants when land was purchased by the New Zealand Company or the Crown.

2008 

Sources used in this story

  1. Mitchell, H&J (2007) Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka: A History of Maori of Nelson and Marlborough" Vol II, p20.  
    http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/63170610

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Comments

  • good infomation thanks

    Posted by jenna , 30/06/2016 10:40am (1 year ago)

  • it was great to read

    Posted by shakira, 07/04/2016 2:44pm (2 years ago)

  • can you please tell me where abouts the exact location of the Hikapu pa was located along the Hikapu reach.

    Posted by Adrian Cook, 23/03/2015 11:00pm (3 years ago)

  • very good but how is the food protected so it dosent go off?
    We have added some further sources to answer this question. Ed.

    Posted by nadia hill, ()

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Further sources - Pa and Kainga

Books

Articles

Other

Unpublished sources (NPM= Nelson Provincial Museum; ATL = Alexander Turnbull Library; MM = Marlborough Museum)

  • Barnicoat, J.W. (1843) Journal qMS typescript [NPM] ; [ATL]: Manuscript copy.
  • Brunner, T (1848) Daily Journal. UMS Typescript [NPM]
  • Campbell, A. Daily Journal and sketchbook. UMS 37: CAM [NPM]
  • Eyles, J. Papers. [NPM]
  • Reay, CL Church Register of Population. MS Papers 1925:54/5 [ATL]
  • Tucket, F (27.4.1843) Diary, Hale Clearfile V9, 42d-f [MM]
  •  Simmonds, J. Narrative of events in the early history of Nelson, New Zealand. qMS: SIM [NPM]
  •  Stephens, S. Letters & Journals. [NPM] Bett qMS (4 vol typescript)
  •  Wakefield, A. (1841-42) Diary. qMS NZ Co. Papers. Bett Collection [NPM]
  •  Weld, F (n.d.) Diary and letter extracts. In Marlborough Express. Hale Clearfile vol 10: 129 [MM]

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