Friday, 12 October 2018

New Tauranga Street Names

Tauranga is growing more rapidly than ever, and this means new subdivisions and new street names. Areas on the outskirts of the city are being filled with housing to cope with the increasing demand. In Pyes Pā, the new streets have some interesting names: Te Ranga Memorial Drive, Puhirake Crescent, Penetaka Heights, Materawaho Way, and others. The choice of these names reflects a new determination to commemorate some of Tauranga’s most important – and tragic – history. It acknowledges tangata whenua in a way that was very rare until recently.

Image courtesy of Stephanie Smith
Te Ranga Memorial Drive – At the battle of Te Ranga, on 21 June 1864, Tauranga Māori were crushed by a British force anxious for revenge for its defeat at the Battle of Gate Pā or Pukehinahina on 29 April 1864.

Image courtesy of Stephanie Smith
Puhirake Crescent – Named after Rawiri Puhirake Tuaia, Ngai Tukairangi leader from Matapihi. He was mission-trained and reluctant to take up arms, but the arrival of troops in Tauranga spurred him to action. After a victory at the Battle of Gate Pā, he was one of the 103 Māori killed in 1864 at the Battle of Te Ranga. As a tribute to his chivalry and courage he and other leaders were later buried in the Mission Cemetery.

Pene Taka Tuaia, Image courtesy of Tauranga City Library
Penetaka Heights – Pene Taka Tuaia, a cousin of Puhirake, was the military engineer who designed the complex earthworks of Pukehinahina or Gate Pā. He probably learned his skills in the wars in Northland in the 1840s. Unlike his cousin, he survived the 1864 battles to fight in the Tauranga Bush Campaign of 1867. He died at Te Puna in 1889, still conscious of the land grievances that resulted from the conflicts of his youth.

Image courtesy of Stephanie Smith
Materawaho Way – Te Materawaho was the name of the historical hapū, a subtribe of Ngāti Tapu, that occupied the Otamataha Pā at the north end of the Te Papa Peninsula when the missionaries first visited Tauranga in the 1820s. 

Sources

Jinty Rorke. 'Puhirake, Rawiri', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 1990. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, https://teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/1p30/puhirake-rawiri (accessed 25 July 2018)

Alister Matheson. 'Tuaia, Pene Taka', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 1990. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, https://teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/1t107/tuaia-pene-taka (accessed 25 July 2018)
https://nzhistory.govt.nz/war/war-in-tauranga/te-ranga

New Zealand Mission Trust Board (Otamataha) Empowering Bill https://www.parliament.nz/resource/en-NZ/50DBSCH_SCR6178_1/7616c72fecde83eec51f6f52371de9e971c81f85

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