|Te Motu a Hiaroa|
The motu (island) today, from Mangere Mountain
|Elevation||65 m (213 ft)|
|Location||North Island, New Zealand|
|Volcanic arc/belt||Auckland volcanic field|
Te Motu a Hiaroa (Puketutu Island) is a volcanic island in the Manukau Harbour, New Zealand, and is part of the Auckland volcanic field. European settlers called it Weekes' Island, but this was eventually abandoned in favour of the historical Māori name. The island is joined to the mainland via a causeway known as Te Ara Tāhuna.
Te Motu a Hiaroa means "the island of Hiaroa" in reference to an ancestor who arrived on the island after journeying on the Tainui waka.Puketutu refers to one of the several maunga (mountains) and puke (hills) on the island. The New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage gives a translation of "tutu shrub hill" for Puketutu.
Te Motu a Hiaroa is linked in Māori traditions to Mataaoho, the deity responsible for volcanic activity, who created the wider Auckland volcanic field. The creation of these volcanoes is the result of Te Riri o Mataaoho (‘the wrath of Mataaoho’). It once contained a number of volcanic cones and hills which were used for the construction of pā and the establishment of tuahu (alters). Its lava flows and rich friable soils were gardened for kumura and other cultivates, similar to the Otuataua Stonefields at Te Ihu a Maataoho (Ihumatao). The Island is said to be protected by several guardian taniwha, and is closely associated with the arrival of the Tainui waka around the 14th century. From its earliest settlement the island has been occupied by tohunga and rangatira, earning it a reputation as an island of tohunga and a whare wānanga or place of learning traditional Māori mātauranga and tikanga. The island is considered sacred to Tainui and Te Waiohua iwi and hapū. Alienation of the customary owners of the island occurred in the mid 19th century during colonisation.
In the 1950s, several of its scoria cones were heavily quarried for fill to extend Auckland Airport nearby, along with the construction of the Mangere wastewater oxidation ponds which bordered the island. The island's highest point, 65m high Te Taumata a Rakataura (Pinnacle Hill), was retained. Sir Henry Kelliher had owned the island since the 1940s. The Kelliher charitable trust proposed a scheme whereby biosolids from the nearby Mangere wastewater treatment plant (covering 600ha on the landward sides, and served around 600,000 people in the 1990s) years, the final goal was envisaged as reestablishing the Māori customary owners and providing open space for Aucklanders. Watercare then bought a long-term lease of the island and transferred the island's title ownership to Te Motu a Hiaroa (Puketutu Island) Charitable Trust, with representatives from Waikato-Tainui, Te Kawerau a Maki, and Makaurau Marae/Te Ahiwaru Waiohua.could be used to reshape the older form of the island. While the process could take up to 35
Te Motu a Hiaroa Charitable Trust plans to reestablish a whare wānanga and has a partnership with Auckland Council to rehabilitate the island and create a type of cultural park accessible to the people of Auckland.
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