Story: Taupori Māori – Māori population change

Tolaga Bay grave

Tolaga Bay grave

In 2007 builders constructing new classrooms at Tolaga Bay primary school uncovered more than 40 graves and remnants of missionary buildings from the 1840s. The settlement was thought to have been established by the Reverend Charles Baker, who settled in the area in 1843. Many of the bodies that were exhumed were children and young adults, who probably died from introduced diseases like smallpox and influenza.

The kōiwi (human remains) were subsequently reburied in a community ceremony. In this photo school student Arai Parata-Walker (right) hands one of the wahakura kōiwi to teacher Rawiri Coleman to be interred in a mass grave.

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Tolaga Bay Area School & Kuranui

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How to cite this page:

Ian Pool and Tahu Kukutai, 'Taupori Māori – Māori population change - Population changes, 1769–1840', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 June 2024)

Story by Ian Pool and Tahu Kukutai, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 27 Sep 2018