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Township between the Waikato River and the southern foot of the Bombay Hills, 4 km north-west of Mercer. Originally a Māori village, it became the terminus of the Great South Road, built from Drury in 1862–63. The huge Queen’s Redoubt was constructed as the launching point for the government invasion of Waikato, which began on 12 July 1863 when troops crossed the Mangatāwhiri River 3 km to the south. The redoubt remains are in the centre of present-day Pōkeno.
Meaning of place name
Pō: night; keno: underworld.