Mahupuku Memorial

Marble stone memorial consisting of a central panel of text flanked by reliefs of human figures.

This memorial at Pāpāwai Pa, near Greytown in the Wairarapa commemorates the Ngati Kahungunu leader Hamuera Tamahau Mahupuku (c.1840-1904).

The original memorial, built in 1911, was severely damaged in the 1942 Wairarapa earthquakes. Minister of Māori Affairs, Hon. Ben Couch, unveiled a new memorial, consisting of the four panels and two of the four Corinthian pillars from the former monument in 1982.

Marble plaque with text on it built into ground.

Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Plaque commemorating the unveiling of the rebuilt Mahupuku Memorial by Hon. Ben Couch on 22 May 1982.

Pāpāwai thrived under the leadership of Mahupuku until his death in 1904. During this time, Mahupuku built an ornately carved gateway onto the marae. A continuous line of carved figures, most facing inwards to symbolise peace between Māori and Pākehā, and all formed from a single totara tree, surrounded the area. The gateway and the figures disappeared when the area became depopulated after 1930. Carvers created a replica from a photograph of the old gateway during the late 1980s.

More information

Pāpāwai, the Māori capital – roadside stories

Hāmuera Tamahau Mahupuku – Dictionary of New Zealand Biography

Pāpāwai marae – Te Ara The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Kotahitanga – Te Ara The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Pāpāwai marae – Heritage New Zealand

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