Story: Hawke’s Bay places
Page 9 – North of Napier
Rural settlement on State Highway 5 near the intersection with State Highway 2, with a 2013 population of 624. The valley has many vineyards, wineries and orchards. The local church, designed by James Chapman-Taylor and dedicated in 1920, memorialises Percival Moore Beattie, a local man killed in the First World War. The Esk River, which is a popular fishing spot, has a history of flooding.
Small settlement on State Highway 2 north of the junction with State Highway 5. In the 2000s Whirinaki was dominated by the government-owned power station and the Pan Pac timber-processing plant.
Coastal settlement north of Napier off State Highway 2. Tāngōio contains a collection of traditional baches (small holiday homes) mainly built in the 1940s and 1950s. The Whakaari headland (part of the Tāngōio Bluff) was an important Māori waka (canoe) landing site and later became a whaling station. Nearby is Tāngōio Forest, an exotic pine-tree plantation.
Coastal settlement north of Napier off State Highway 2. Waipātiki Beach has a collection of small traditional baches, larger modern holiday homes and a camping ground. Waipātiki was an estuary and important food-gathering spot for Māori until the land was raised by the 1931 earthquake. The adjacent Department of Conservation scenic reserve contains 64 hectares of the original coastal forest.
In the early 20th century Merino farming was abandoned as unprofitable in the area around the upper reaches of the Mōhaka River behind Tūtira. However, some sheep had already escaped and, though landscape and climatic conditions did not suit Merinos in general, hardy types survived and formed a self-sustaining feral population. Mōhaka sheep, which have either black or white wool, are now kept by enthusiasts of rare sheep breeds.
Farming settlement north of Napier on State Highway 5. Tūtira is best known as the inspiration for runholder and naturalist Herbert Guthrie-Smith’s book Tutira: the story of a New Zealand sheep station (1921). He is commemorated by the Guthrie-Smith outdoor education centre and Lake Tūtira campsite near his former homestead. The district is mainly pastoral farmland.
Farming settlement midway between Napier and Wairoa on State Highway 2. Pūtōrino was initially located at the mouth of the Waikari River, which was an important stopping point for Māori canoes. It became a European settlement in the 1860s. Pūtōrino relocated inland next to the Napier–Wairoa road in the early 20th century. Its main buildings are Waikare Hotel and a district sports centre.
Major river which runs down from the Kaweka Range through the Maungaharuru Range and drains into Hawke Bay at Mōhaka. The river has long been an important source of food (particularly eels) for Māori, and remains a taonga (treasure) for Ngāti Pahauwera hapū (subtribe). It is also a popular location for water sports and recreational fishing.
The Mōhaka railway viaduct between Kotemāori and Raupunga was constructed between 1930 and 1937. At 95 metres tall, it is the highest in New Zealand.
The highest summit of the Maungaharuru Range is Taraponui (1,308 m).
Small settlement next to the mouth of the Mōhaka River, off State Highway 2. Mōhaka is a Māori settlement surrounded by pastoral farmland. The main hapū is Ngāti Pahauwera. The round meeting house Rongomaiwahine is a local landmark.
A busy European township developed on the opposite side of the river in the 1860s. Both the Māori and European settlements were attacked by Māori resistance leader Te Kooti in 1869 to make sure he had an escape route from authorities, and as an act of reprisal for earlier grievances. Seven Pākehā and 61 Māori were killed. The European settlement eventually failed, but Māori continued to occupy the north side of the river.