Ngā Tohuwhenua Mai Te Rangi: A New Zealand Archeology in Aerial Photographs
Two activities have left an archaeological impact: early pastoralism and military activity. The pattern of deforestation caused by pastoralism, and re-afforestation through shrubland, is on too broad a scale to be able to be presented and analysed here. Of the mid-nineteenth-century military campaigns, there were several phases in Hawke's Bay, particularly in the north at Mōhaka, Wairoa and in the Urewera Ranges. Some Ngāti Kahungūnu joined the Kingite and Pai Mārire movements, and were involved in extensive fighting with Māori kūpapa and European forces to the north. Other Ngāti Kahungūnu joined kūpapa forces, and were prominent in the pursuit of Te Kooti Arikirangi in the late 1860s at Ngatapa and at Rotoaira on the volcanic plateau. 16
The Wairoa coastal strip was an important route for travel along the coast to and from Poverty Bay and the Māhia Peninsula. In the nineteenth century, the strategic advantages of controlling this strip were considerable. On one of the low sandy hills, near Whakakī Lagoon, there is a remarkable small redoubt (one of several in the area) and defended camp with a rifle trench perimeter, named Tokitoki, both with extensive views of what would have been a fern-covered plain and dune lands to the east. These fortifications were probably part of either the kūpapa campaign against Pai Mārire from Ngāti Kahungūnu in 1865, or the kūpapa and Colonial forces campaign against Te Kooti Arikirangi in 1868. 17 The nature of the redoubt does not suggest the relatively informal kūpapa style of fortification. It is a textbook redoubt: small in size, but rectangular and with flanking angles.
Maraetōtara River valley, with Tiromoana on the prominent point, lower left
All the sites are on a high marine terrace, with a good outlook down the valley or seaward. The valley was north-facing, and the preferred horticultural sites were elevated to avoid the risk of unseasonal frosts. On the edge of the alluvial terraces are traces of borrow-pits.
Tiromoana, a pā on the Maraetōtara River near Te Awanga
The steep natural defences of the pā and its location on the terrace edge above the river flats show clearly in this view to the north-west. Transverse defensive lines show clearly. The length of the main defended area is about 50 m. The rims of the pits and also the line of palisade postholes on the righthand (eastern) perimeter show clearly, under a covering of long dry grass. When Lady Fox excavated this site in 1974-75, she found further evidence of house floors and the nature of the palisaded defences. The major house floor, built late in the occupation of the site, was between the two lines of ditch and bank at bottom left.
Redoubt and huts near Whakakī Lagoon on the coastal strip east of Wairoa
The redoubt (at left) is a typical, rather small example, with flanking angles at opposing corners. The defended area within the banks is quite small, 5 by 7 m in plan, and from the outer edge of one flanking angle to the other is about 14 m. To the right of the redoubt is a rectangular enclosure forming a defensive perimeter for two huts, named on early survey plans as 'pa Tokitoki'. The defensive perimeter is about 20 m by 40 m. In the corners of one side are the rectangular depressions of the huts, each about 5 by 8 m in plan. Both sites were probably occupied by colonial or kūpapa forces in the period 1865-68, and as late as the 1870s. In the saddle is a clear example of ridge and furrow ploughing, surviving here because the area has never been ploughed subsequent to the period of occupation. The view is to the east.
Ohiti pā, showing a redoubt within the pre-European pā, Ngaruroro River
The four flanking-angles show distinctly in this photograph despite a heavy cover of weeds. The value of the redoubt, closed in by the defences of the pre-European pā, is doubtful. It would be a simple matter for attackers to approach the outer ditch and bank and use it as an offensive breastwork.