Story: Shelter on farms

Ōtuataua stonefields

Ōtuataua stonefields

Less than 200 years ago the Auckland area had 8,000 hectares of volcanic stonefields, which were intensively cultivated by Māori. The gardens contained earth and stone mounds used as gardening plots with added organic matter. They created a warm, moist microclimate for taro and kūmara, and the natural heat-absorbing properties of rock extended the growing season by a month. These are the Ōtuataua stonefields, at Māngere. The spectacular dry stone walls which criss-cross the area were built 100 years ago by Europeans, to clear the fields of stone and fence the farms. In 2001 the area became a 100-hectare reserve.

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Auckland Council
Photograph by Ian Lawlor

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How to cite this page:

Allan Gillingham, 'Shelter on farms - Early shelter', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/15591/otuataua-stonefields (accessed 22 November 2019)

Story by Allan Gillingham, published 24 Nov 2008