Kāwhia Harbour

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Kawhia)
Jump to: navigation, search
Kāwhia is located in New Zealand
Coordinates: 38°6′S 174°48′E / 38.100°S 174.800°E / -38.100; 174.800Coordinates: 38°6′S 174°48′E / 38.100°S 174.800°E / -38.100; 174.800
Country  New Zealand
Region King Country
Territorial authority King Country District
Ward Otorohanga
Electorate Waikato
 • MP Barbara Kuriger (National)
 • Mayor Max Baxter
 • Urban 650
Time zone NZST (UTC+12)
 • Summer (DST) NZDT (UTC+13)
Postcode 2451
Area code(s) 07

Kāwhia Harbour is one of three large natural inlets in the Tasman Sea coast of the Waikato region of New Zealand's North Island. It is located to the south of Raglan Harbour, Ruapuke and Aotea Harbour, 40 kilometres southwest of Hamilton. Kāwhia is part of the Otorohanga District Council.[1] It has a high-tide area of 68 km2 (26 sq mi) and a low-tide area of 18 km2 (6.9 sq mi).[2]

The settlement of Kāwhia is located on the northern coast of the inlet, and was an important port in early colonial New Zealand.[3] The area of Kāwhia comprises 16 to 20 hectares (40 to 50 acres) and is the town block that was owned by the New Zealand Government. The government bought it from the Europeans in 1880 "not from the original Māori owners, but from the a European who claimed ownership in payment of money owed by another European".[3]


The harbour area was the birthplace of prominent Māori warrior chief Te Rauparaha of the Ngāti Toa tribe, who lived in the area until the 1820s.

Kāwhia is known in Māori lore as the final resting-place of the ancestral waka (canoe) Tainui. Soon after arrival, captain Hoturoa made it first priority to establish a whare wananga (sacred school of learning) which was named Ahurei.[4] Ahurei is situated at the summit of the sacred hill behind Kāwhia’s seaside marae – Maketu Marae.

"Welcome to Kāwhia"

Tainui was buried at the base of Ahurei by Hoturoa himself, and other members of the iwi. Hoturoa marked out the waka with two limestone pillars which he blessed. Firstly, there is "Hani (Hani-a-te-waewae-i-kimi-atu) which is on the higher ground and marked the prow of the canoe".[5] Marking the stern of the canoe, Hoturoa placed the symbol of Puna, the spirit-goddess of that creation story. "In full it is named Puna-whakatupu-tangata, and represents female fertility, the spring or source of humanity".[6] It is said that a pure woman who touches this stone will be given the gift of a child, and become pregnant. There have been cases of women using Puna when they have had difficulty conceiving a child.

"Kāwhia Beach"

Ahurei overlooks Kāwhia Harbour and Maketu Marae. The main meeting house, Auaukiterangi, is named after Hoturoa’s father who was a high chief (ariki) and was built and opened in 1962. The eldest and most prestigious meeting house that was first built on Maketu Marae is Te Ruruhi (the Old Lady) which was used as the dining hall until the erection of Te Tini O Tainui. This two-storied dining hall was built in 1986 in order to cater for the numerous numbers that visit for occasions such as annual poukai, tangi and hui.[7]

Te Puia Hot Springs[edit]

Te Puia Springs are on the beach to the right from this track across the dunes.
about 100 metres of beach oozes hot water.

2 hours either side of low tide (for tide times see [1]) about 100m of the Tasman Sea beach, 4 km from Kāwhia (see 1:50,000 map [2]), oozes hot water, which can be formed into shallow bathing pools with a spade.[8]

A council sample taken on 30 March 2006 showed a temperature of 45.4 °C (58 °C has also been measured[9]) and listed these in the water[10] -

Site pH Li Na K Ca Mg Rb Cl SO4 B SiO2 NH4 HCO3 S Total F Fe 18OVSMOW d2HVSMOW Br
Te Puia 7.9 9.21.71 3870 121 2150 107 0.094 9540 724 7.5 34.3 2.17 25 0.712 0.62 0.1 -2.66 -21.7 29.6

Notable people[edit]


Wesleyan Mission-Premises at Kawhia, New Zealand (p.52, 1849)[11]


External links[edit]