Te Urewera National Park
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|Te Urewera National Park|
|Nearest city||Gisborne, New Zealand|
|Governing body||Department of Conservation|
Te Urewera National Park is one of 14 national parks within New Zealand and is the largest of the four in the North Island. Covering an area of approximately 2,127 km², it is in the north east of the Hawke's Bay region of the North Island.
On 28 July 1954, the catchment areas of Lake Waikaremoana, Lake Waikareiti and other Crown reserves were gazetted as a national park, and by 1957 proposals were well underway to add the rest of the Crown land in Te Urewera north of Ruatahuna. This proposal was formalised in November 1957 when an additional 1,350 km² were added. Further additions were made in 1962, 1975 and 1979, with smaller acquisitions and boundary alterations in the intervening period.
Te Urewera is the traditional home of the Tuhoe people. Due to its geographical isolation, it was one of the last regions to be claimed by the British during colonisation in the 19th century. Te Kooti, the Māori leader, found refuge there from his pursuers among Tuhoe, with whom he formed an alliance.
The park's name comes from the Māori words ure meaning penis and wera meaning burnt, thus, the literal translation from Māori is "burnt penis" (National Park). The name comes from a historical event, passed down through maori oral tradition, of a chief several centuries ago who died while out with a hunting party in the forests of the present-day park. He rolled over in his sleep while lying too close to a camp fire, badly burning his groin.
- Charles Rawlings-Way, Carolyn Bain, Brett Atkinson, Errol Hunt, Peter Dragicevich and Sarah Bennett. 2008. New Zealand, Lonely Planet Publications, Edition 14, ISBN 1-74104-816-8 756 pages
- Journeys in National Parks: Te Urewera, 1987 documentary at NZ On Screen
- Te Urewera National Park website, Department of Conservation
- Tourism information page