Mount Saint John (New Zealand)

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Te Kōpuke / Mount Saint John as seen from Ōhinerau / Mount Hobson.
The crater of Te Kōpuke / Mount Saint John.

Mount Saint John, also known as Te Kōpuke and Tītīkōpuke,[1][2][3] is a volcanic scoria cone and Tūpuna Maunga (ancestral mountain) in Epsom, in the Auckland volcanic field of New Zealand. It has a peak 126 metres above sea level and a crater around 125 m wide and 20 m deep. It was the site of a , and has retained Māori earthworks from that era such as kumara pits and terracing for housing. The age of Te Kōpuke Mount / St John is currently unknown but is older than 28,500 years old as the scoria cone is mantled in ash from Te Tatua-a-Riukiuta volcano.[2][4]

Te Kōpuke / Mount St John is now known to be the source of the long lava flow that ran west down an old stream valley and out into the Waitematā Harbour as Meola Reef. Maungawhau / Mount Eden later erupted through the lava flow.[5]

Te Kōpuke means ‘the prominent mound’ and is an abbreviation of Tītīkōpuke. Mount Saint John was named after Colonel J.H.H. St John, who was prominent in the New Zealand Wars. None of its three names are official. In 2014, the Tāmaki Collective agreed that both Te Kōpuke and Tītīkōpuke reflect the historical association of local Māori with this site.[6]

The maunga is a place of great cultural and archaeological significance.[2]

Treaty settlement[edit]

In the 2014 Treaty of Waitangi settlement between the Crown and the Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau collective of 13 Auckland iwi and hapu (also known as the Tāmaki Collective), ownership of the 14 Tūpuna Maunga of Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland, was vested to the collective. The legislation specified that the land be held in trust "for the common benefit of Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau and the other people of Auckland". The Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Authority or Tūpuna Maunga Authority (TMA) is the co-governance organisation established to administer the 14 Tūpuna Maunga. Auckland Council manages the Tūpuna Maunga under the direction of the TMA.[7][1][8]


  1. ^ a b Council, Auckland. "Tūpuna Maunga significance and history". Auckland Council. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  2. ^ a b c "Te Kōpuke / Tītīkōpuke". Retrieved 19 July 2022.
  3. ^ "NZGB Gazetteer |". Retrieved 21 July 2022.
  4. ^ Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Authority (23 June 2016). "Integrated Management Plan" (PDF). Auckland Council. Retrieved 6 October 2021.
  5. ^ Hayward, Bruce W.; Murdoch, Graeme; Maitland, Gordon (2011). Volcanoes of Auckland: The Essential Guide. Auckland University Press. ISBN 978-1-86940-479-6.
  6. ^ "NZGB Gazetteer |". Retrieved 21 July 2022.
  7. ^ "Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau Collective Redress Act 2014 No 52 (as at 12 April 2022), Public Act – New Zealand Legislation". Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  8. ^ "Home". Retrieved 19 July 2022.
  • City of Volcanoes: A geology of Auckland - Searle, Ernest J.; revised by Mayhill, R.D.; Longman Paul, 1981. First published 1964. ISBN 0-582-71784-1.
  • Volcanoes of Auckland: A Field Guide. Hayward, B.W.; Auckland University Press, 2019, 335 pp. ISBN 0-582-71784-1.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°53′00″S 174°46′49″E / 36.883431°S 174.780196°E / -36.883431; 174.780196