Te Pa o Kapo

"History is a symphony of echoes heard and unheard.  It is a poem with events as verses."

- Charles Angoff

Te Pa o Kapo
Photo by Hannah Sutton.

Te Pa o Kapo is a historic pa in Titahi Bay. For a number of years the pa was being damaged by vehicles.

Te Pa o Kapo was identified as one of the City's at risk sites at the start of the heritage review project.

Ruts at Te Pa o Kapo, 2005
Same site, 2009

In 2006 Porirua City Council, in partnership with Te Runanga o Toa Rangatira and Heritage New Zealand, installed bollards to prevent vehicles from driving on the historic pa site.

Te Pa o Kapo was first built 400 years ago when Porirua was the territory of the Ngati Ira people, said former Pataka Registrar Pat Stodart. "The pa provided safe havens in times of attack from raids (taua) that other iwi made into the area. It is still mostly intact and can be visited with access from Terrace Road."

The pa site, which occupies a small promontory separated from the mainland by a narrow neck, has excellent natural defences formed by the steep cliffs above the sea.

In the early 1820s, after Ngati Toa led by the chief Te Rauparaha came to settle in the Porirua area, Te Pa o Kapo was abandoned and never re-occupied, Mr Stodart said.

"The leading chief of Ngati Ira in the area at that time was Whanake (also called Te Huka-tai-o-Ruatapu) and historians have his home as being at Komanaga Rautawhiri about a mile south of Titahi Bay at the time of Ngati Toa settlement."

Continue to the history of Te Pa o Kapo or Key site: Porirua Hospital Museum or return to Managing Porirua's Heritage.