Story: King Country region

Huipūtea, a landmark tree

Huipūtea, a landmark tree

This 300-year-old kahikatea tree on the outskirts of Ōtorohanga is historically significant because of its connections with a battle between Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāpuhi, which occurred in 1822. After defeating Waikato forces near Pirongia, just north of present-day Ōtorohanga, a Ngāpuhi war party moved south. They captured some local women and made camp under the tree. The women were carrying baskets when captured, and they were told to place them under the tree, which came to be known as Huipūtea (heap of baskets). Another war party comprised of Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Matakore and Waikato warriors had tracked the Ngāpuhi party and were watching them from hiding places. They attacked and the Ngāpuhi party was defeated. Huipūtea is on the Ōtorohanga District Council's register of significant trees.

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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Janine Faulknor

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How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'King Country region - Māori settlement and occupation', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/34842/huiputea-a-landmark-tree (accessed 18 June 2019)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, updated 30 Mar 2015