Seven ancient Māori pā sites in central Hawke’s Bay have been resurrected and reopened to the public on Friday, with walking trails and a digital tour.
The project, Ngā Ara Tipuna, uses displays, carvings and digital storytelling to show what life was like for Māori in the area pre-European arrival, and restore traditional knowledge after much of it was lost.
It was officially opened on Friday, and is centred on the historic pā of Pukekaihau, which is now the site of Hunter Memorial park in Central Waipukurau.
Visitors can download an app, or use a QR Code to find out the history and all information which is available at the site.
Brain Morris, mana whenua, told Te Karere that although European history is well known, the history of Māori in the area isn’t.
"So we want to put our stories out there so that the next generation knows what their ancestors did.
"The remainder of the pā sites are on European land, if you know the landowners and seek permission you could visit there, however most of them are now farmlands."
Ngā Ara Tipuna is a partnership between Tamatea Hapū, Te Taiwhenua o Tamatea and Central Hawke’s Bay District Council. A governance entity (Charitable Trust) has been established to have ultimate ownership of the assets.
Many of the places will be free to explore at any time and have digital content for visitors to view on their phones.