Kawhia Harbour

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Kawhia
Kawhia Beach
Kawhia Beach
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
CountryNew Zealand
RegionWaikato Region
DistrictŌtorohanga District
WardKāwhia-Tihiroa Ward
CommunityKāwhia Community
ElectorateTaranaki-King Country
Government
 • Territorial AuthorityŌtorohanga District Council
 • Regional councilWaikato Regional Council
Area
 • Total0.93 km2 (0.36 sq mi)
Population
 (2018 Census)[2]
 • Total384
 • Density410/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+12 (NZST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+13 (NZDT)
Postcode
2451
Area code07

Kawhia Harbour (Maori: Kāwhia) 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. Kawhia is part of the Ōtorohanga District Council[3] and is in the King Country. It has a high-tide area of 68 km2 (26 sq mi) and a low-tide area of 18 km2 (6.9 sq mi).[4] Te Motu Island is located in the harbour.

The settlement of Kawhia is located on the northern coast of the inlet, and was an important port in early colonial New Zealand.[5] The area of Kawhia 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 a European who claimed ownership in payment of money owed by another European".[5]

History and culture[edit]

Waterfront at Kawhia pictured between 1908 and 1915. St Elmo boarding house in the foreground.
"Welcome to Kawhia" sign

Early history[edit]

The Kawhia Harbour is the southernmost location where kauri trees historically grew.[6]

Kawhia 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.[7] Ahurei is situated at the summit of the sacred hill behind Kawhia’s seaside marae – Maketu Marae. 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, when he, and his tribe along with Ngāti Rārua and Ngāti Koata migrated southwards.

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".[8] 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".[7] 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.

Marae[edit]

Maketu Marae is located next to Kawhia Harbour. The main meeting house of the marae, Auau ki te Rangi, is named after Hoturoa’s father who was a high chief (ariki) and was built and opened in 1962.[9]

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 1986. It was replaced by a two-storey dining hall, Te Tini O Tainui, to cater for the large numbers that visit for occasions such as annual poukai, tangi and hui.[10] The marae is affiliated with the Ngāti Maniapoto hapū of Apakura and Hikairo, and the Waikato Tainui hapū of Ngāti Mahuta and Ngāti Te Weehi.[11]

Six other marae are also based at or near Kawhia Harbour:

  • Mōkai Kainga Marae and Ko Te Mōkai meeting house is a meeting place for the Ngāti Maniapoto hapū of Apakura and Hikairo, and the Waikato Tainui hapū of Apakura.
  • Mokoroa Marae and Ngā Roimata meeting house is a meeting place for the Ngāti Maniapoto hapū of Ngati Kiriwai.
  • Ōkapu or Oakapu Marae and Te Kotahitanga o Ngāti Te Weehi meeting house is a meeting place for the Waikato Tainui hapū of Ngāti Mahuta and Ngāti Te Weehi.
  • Te Māhoe Marae is a meeting ground for the Ngāti Maniapoto hapū of Peehi, Te Kanawa, Te Urupare and Uekaha.
  • Waipapa Marae and Ngā Tai Whakarongorua and Takuhiahia meeting houses are a meeting place for the Ngāti Maniapoto hapū of Hikairo, and the Waikato Tainui hapū of Ngāti Hikairo and Ngāti Puhiawe.[9][11]
  • Rākaunui Marae and Moana Kahakore meeting house is a meeting place for the Ngāti Maniapoto hapū of Ngāti Ngutu, Ngāti Te Kiriwai, Ngāti Paretekawa and the Waikato Tainui hapū Ngāti Apakura.

In October 2020, the Government committed $196,684 from the Provincial Growth Fund to upgrade Ōkapu Marae, creating 16 jobs.[12]

European history[edit]

The Kawhia Harbour area was important to the kauri gum trade of the late 19th/early 20th centuries, as it was the southernmost area where the gum could be found.[6]

The Kawhia Settler and Raglan Advertiser was established in May 1901 by William Murray Thompson and Thomas Elliott Wilson, who also ran the Bruce Herald, Waimate Times, Egmont Settler[13] (later briefly part of Taranaki Central Press at Stratford)[14][15] and the Mangaweka Settler. From 1909 Edward Henry Schnackenberg, whose father was a missionary here from 1858 to 1864, owned the paper, until it closed in April 1936.[13]

In January 2018, the health board issued a statement that there was no additional risk from tuberculosis in Kawhia after reports of three possible cases.[16][17]

Demographics[edit]

Statistics New Zealand describes Kawhia as a rural settlement, which covers 0.93 km2 (0.36 sq mi).[1] The settlement is part of the larger Pirongia Forest statistical area.

Historical population for Kawhia
YearPop.±% p.a.
2006390—    
2013339−1.98%
2018384+2.52%
Source: [2]

Kawhia had a population of 384 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 45 people (13.3%) since the 2013 census, and a decrease of 6 people (−1.5%) since the 2006 census. There were 162 households, comprising 198 males and 186 females, giving a sex ratio of 1.06 males per female, with 66 people (17.2%) aged under 15 years, 51 (13.3%) aged 15 to 29, 147 (38.3%) aged 30 to 64, and 120 (31.2%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 55.5% European/Pākehā, 57.0% Māori, 5.5% Pacific peoples, 1.6% Asian, and 1.6% other ethnicities. People may identify with more than one ethnicity.

Although some people chose not to answer the census's question about religious affiliation, 46.1% had no religion, 37.5% were Christian, 7.0% had Māori religious beliefs and 1.6% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 39 (12.3%) people had a bachelor's or higher degree, and 99 (31.1%) people had no formal qualifications. 18 people (5.7%) earned over $70,000 compared to 17.2% nationally. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 81 (25.5%) people were employed full-time, 69 (21.7%) were part-time, and 21 (6.6%) were unemployed.[2]

Before 2018, Kawhia was in its own statistical area[18]

Year Population Households Median age Median income National median
2001 507 198 44.1 $12,100 $18,500
2006 390 171 49.2 $15,100 $24,100
2013 339 153 53.8 $19,200 $27,900

In 2013 231 dwellings were unoccupied.[19] In the much wider Pirongia Forest area 396 dwellings were unoccupied in 2018,[2] when it was estimated that 70% of Kawhia's houses were holiday homes.[20]

As of 2017, New Zealand's median centre of population is located around one kilometre off the coast of Kawhia.[21]


Pirongia Forest statistical area[edit]

Pirongia Forest statistical area covers 490.81 km2 (189.50 sq mi)[1] and had an estimated population of 1,030 as of June 2022,[22] with a population density of 2.1 people per km2.

Historical population for Pirongia Forest
YearPop.±% p.a.
2006897—    
2013828−1.14%
2018966+3.13%
Source: [23]

Pirongia Forest had a population of 966 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 138 people (16.7%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 69 people (7.7%) since the 2006 census. There were 393 households, comprising 498 males and 468 females, giving a sex ratio of 1.06 males per female. The median age was 50.5 years (compared with 37.4 years nationally), with 189 people (19.6%) aged under 15 years, 117 (12.1%) aged 15 to 29, 417 (43.2%) aged 30 to 64, and 243 (25.2%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 64.3% European/Pākehā, 46.9% Māori, 3.1% Pacific peoples, 1.6% Asian, and 1.2% other ethnicities. People may identify with more than one ethnicity.

The percentage of people born overseas was 6.8, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people chose not to answer the census's question about religious affiliation, 54.0% had no religion, 31.4% were Christian, 3.7% had Māori religious beliefs and 1.6% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 81 (10.4%) people had a bachelor's or higher degree, and 246 (31.7%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $19,700, compared with $31,800 nationally. 60 people (7.7%) earned over $70,000 compared to 17.2% nationally. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 270 (34.7%) people were employed full-time, 141 (18.1%) were part-time, and 39 (5.0%) were unemployed.[23]

Te Puia Hot Springs[edit]

2 hours either side of low tide (for tide times see tide-forecast.com)[24] about 100m of the Tasman Sea beach, 4 km from Kawhia (see 1:50,000 map[25]), oozes hot water, which can be formed into shallow bathing pools with a spade.[26]

A council sample taken on 30 March 2006 listed these in the water.[27]

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

Kawhia County Council[edit]

Former Kawhia County Council office in 2020, now Kāwhia Museum

Kawhia County Council was formed in 1905[28] and first met on 12 July 1905.[29] New offices were built by Buchanan Bros in 1915-16 over the former beach,[30] and designed by Hamilton architects and engineers, Warren and Blechynden.[31] In 1923 Kawhia County covered 330 sq mi (850 km2) and had a population of 1,098, with 52 mi (84 km) of gravel roads, 95 mi (153 km) of mud roads and 125 mi (201 km) of tracks.[32] Kawhia Town Board was formed in 1906, with an area of 470 acres (190 ha). Its population in 1923 was 195, when it had 6 mi 14 ch (9.9 km) of streets and a 10 acres (4.0 ha) domain.[33] The County merged into Ōtorohanga and Waitomo in 1956, after a Local Government Commission inquiry.[34]

Kāwhia Community Board[edit]

The Community Board meets monthly[35] and consists of 4 members, plus the Kāwhia - Tihiroa Ward councillor. Three members are elected from the Kawhia area and one from Aotea.[36]

Pou Maumahara unveiled in 2016

Pou Maumahara[edit]

In 2016 a 5 m (16 ft) tall pou maumahara (remembrance pillar) was put up at Omimiti Reserve, behind the museum. Te Kuiti Stewart began carving it in 2014, from a Pureora Forest totara. It represents 150 years of Kingitanga on one side and the Elizabeth Henrietta's 1824 arrival, on the other. At night it is floodlit, with coloured LED lights inside.[37]

Kawhia hospital in 1963, with Te Maika and Albatross Point in the distance and the Methodist Church near the centre

Hospital[edit]

Kawhia hospital overlooked the town, on the site of Te Puru pa,[38] which became the Armed Constabulary redoubt in 1863.[39] Like the County Office, the hospital was also designed by Warren and Blechynden and opened in 1918.[40] It was still a cottage hospital in 1948,[41] but had become a maternity hospital by 1959[42] and closed in March 1967.[43]

Education[edit]

Kawhia School is a Year 1–8 co-educational state primary school.[44][45] It is a decile 1 school with a roll of 53 as of July 2022.[46][47]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "ArcGIS Web Application". statsnz.maps.arcgis.com. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d "Statistical area 1 dataset for 2018 Census". Statistics New Zealand. March 2020. 7012986–7012988.
  3. ^ "2006 Census data".
  4. ^ "Mapping residence times in west coast estuaries of the Waikato region". Waikato Regional Council. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Kawhia Harbour History". Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  6. ^ a b Hayward, Bruce W. (1989). Kauri Gum and the Gumdiggers. The Bush Press. p. 4. ISBN 0-908608-39-X.
  7. ^ a b "Kawhia Maori History". www.kawhia.maori.nz.
  8. ^ Kawhia Harbour, para 15-16
  9. ^ a b "Māori Maps". maorimaps.com. Te Potiki National Trust.
  10. ^ "Waitomo Tourism Facts". waitomo.org.nz. Waitomo Tourism.
  11. ^ a b "Te Kāhui Māngai directory". tkm.govt.nz. Te Puni Kōkiri.
  12. ^ "Marae Announcements" (Excel). growregions.govt.nz. Provincial Growth Fund. 9 October 2020.
  13. ^ a b "The Kawhia Settler". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  14. ^ "TARANAKI CENTRAL PRESS". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 10 February 1937. Retrieved 23 October 2021.
  15. ^ "Taranaki Central Press". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. Retrieved 23 October 2021.
  16. ^ "No risk of Tuberculosis in Kawhia community | Waikato Newsroom". waikatodhbnewsroom.co.nz. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Five confirmed cases of tuberculosis from Kawhia". Stuff. 20 January 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  18. ^ "2013 Census map – QuickStats about a place". archive.stats.govt.nz. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  19. ^ "2013 Census QuickStats about a place". archive.stats.govt.nz. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  20. ^ "Ōtorohanga District Council - Minutes" (PDF). 26 June 2018.
  21. ^ "Three in four New Zealanders live in the North Island | Stats NZ". www.stats.govt.nz. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
  22. ^ "Population estimate tables - NZ.Stat". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  23. ^ a b "Statistical area 1 dataset for 2018 Census". Statistics New Zealand. March 2020. Pirongia Forest (185200). 2018 Census place summary: Pirongia Forest
  24. ^ "Tide Times and Tide Chart for Kawhia". www.tide-forecast.com.
  25. ^ "Te Puia Springs, Waikato". NZ Topo Map. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  26. ^ "Kawhia Springs (Te Puia Springs)".
  27. ^ "Interpretation of Geochemical Data (REGEMP II) and Recommendations for Further Monitoring" (PDF). Environment Waikato. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 June 2016.
  28. ^ "KAWHIA COUNTY ELECTION. WAIKATO ARGUS". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 7 July 1905. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  29. ^ "Kawhia County Council. KAWHIA SETTLER AND RAGLAN ADVERTISER". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 14 July 1905. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  30. ^ "Local and General. KAWHIA SETTLER AND RAGLAN ADVERTISER". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 29 October 1915. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  31. ^ "Kawhia Museum Maintenance Plan". NZ Institute of Architects (www.nzia.co.nz). 2008. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  32. ^ "KAWHIA SETTLER AND RAGLAN ADVERTISER Main Highways - Conference at Hamilton". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 3 August 1923. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  33. ^ The Municipal Handbook Of New Zealand 1924.
  34. ^ Jane Luiten (January 2011). "Local Government in Te Rohe Potae" (PDF). Waitangi Tribunal.
  35. ^ "Kāwhia Community Board - Ōtorohanga District Council". www.otodc.govt.nz. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  36. ^ "Kāwhia Community Board Elected Members - Ōtorohanga District Council". www.otodc.govt.nz. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  37. ^ "Pou unveiled on foreshore. Te Awamutu Courier" (PDF). 13 December 2016.
  38. ^ "Hospital Hill". Te Awamutu Museum Collection Online. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  39. ^ "After Forty Years. KAWHIA SETTLER AND RAGLAN ADVERTISER". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 9 March 1928. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  40. ^ "KAWHIA COTTAGE HOSPITAL. WAIKATO TIMES". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 19 March 1918. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  41. ^ "OTAGO DAILY TIMES". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 12 April 1948. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  42. ^ "PRESS". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 16 April 1959. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  43. ^ "A Review of Hospital and Related Services in New Zealand" (PDF). Ministry of Health. September 1969.
  44. ^ "Official School Website". kawhia.school.nz.
  45. ^ Education Counts: Kawhia School
  46. ^ "New Zealand Schools Directory". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 19 August 2022.
  47. ^ "Education Review Office Report". ero.govt.nz. Education Review Office.
  48. ^ Hutching, Megan. "Annie Jane Schnackenberg". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 16 March 2012.

External links[edit]