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Settlement on the Waiapu River, 20 km from Ruatōria. Tikitiki’s jewel is St Mary’s Anglican church, which combines Māori architectural design with intricate carvings, tukutuku (woven panels) and fine stained-glass windows. It is considered one of the finest Māori churches in New Zealand. Completed in 1926, under the direction of Āpirana Ngata, it is a memorial to Ngāti Porou soldiers who fought and died in the First World War. Above the church is Pukemaire, once a fortified pā, where one of the last confrontations between Pai Mārire and Ngāti Porou forces took place in 1865.
Meaning of place name
The town’s name derives from Māui-tikitiki-a-Taranga (Māui wrapped in the topknot of Taranga), the full name of the demigod Māui.