An Ancient Garden - History of Puketarata

With Ken Horner

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From bush clearings to a palisaded earth structure, Māori lived and gardened at Puketarata or its adjacent kainga (village) Keteonetea for four or five hundred years. Well located, there was a defensive position sited in a bush clearing, with fresh water, the nearby Mangemange river, and an escape route up a forest track to the safety of the Ngaere swamp.

Sometime around the 15th or 16th centuries, the age of pa building began and Puketarata pa is one of a number in the valley. Little specific history is known of that time.

The musket wars beginning in the 1820s impacted heavily on Taranaki and on Puketarata/ Keteonetea. The arrival of Pakeha in increasing numbers from 1840, the 1860s’ land wars and the consequent confiscation of Māori land had a destructive effect throughout Taranaki.

Puketarata garden lies just inside an outer pa rampart, on a warm, north-facing, free-draining slope.

Enjoy the garden, a walk along the pa site and a conversation about Puketarata’s place in history with owner and amateur historian Ken Horner.

Date/Time  Sat 27 Oct, 11am, Weds 31 Oct 11 am, Sat 3 Nov 11 am
Venue  Puketarata Garden, 14 Ngawhini Road, Hawera 4674
Admission  Free event, usual garden fees applies ($10pp)