Historic site: Taupo Pa

"History does nothing; it does not possess immense riches, it does not fight battles. It is men, real, living, who do all this."

- Karl Marx.

 
Image of Taupo Pa, Plimmerton beach 1840.
Taupo Pa, Plimmerton beach 1840.
Early Wellington by Louis E. Ward.

Prior to the Wairarapa earthquake in 1855, Taupo was the site of a principal pa of Ngati Toa's rangatira Te Rauparaha. The pa was situated on the head of land to the north of Plimmerton beach and at the sea end of Taupo Swamp, which was then an inlet of Porirua harbour. This pa was strategic because it produced a landing and leaving base for canoes to travel in all directions, but particularly to the island of Te Mana-O-Kupe-O-Aotearoa. All the leading chiefs used the pa, and it was here that Te Rauparaha was captured in 1846.

After Te Rauparaha's capture and the retreat of his nephew, Te Rangihaeata, following the fight at Battle Hill the pa was slowly abandoned and became farmland. The principal Maori villages after this time were Takapuwahia and Te Urukahika.

Te Rangihaeata wrote the following waiata lamenting Te Rauparaha's capture.

HAERE RA E RAHA

Na Te Rangihaeata
 

Image of Te Rangihaeata.

Taku waka whakairo, e!
Taka waka whakateretere,
Ki runga i te ngaru na, i,
Tena ka pakaru, e!
Kei te Manuao e pukai ana
Nga marama na, i!
Haere re, e Raha e,
I te aroaro o Tumatauenga na, i!
Te mana o te Kawana, e!
Te inati o Ngati Raukawa na, i.
Haere ra, e Raha e,
I te aroaro o Ihu Karaiti! Na, i!
Te Mana o te Kawana, e!
Te inati o Ngati Toa na, i.
Ki atu ana au, 'e koro haehae matariki na, e!'
Kai mai ana koe, 'waiho i Porirua
I te kainga ururua.'
K kore au e tangi i enei nga raro, na,e,
Tukua atu ki tua ki nga ra o te waru, e, i.
Ka kohi au i aku tini mahara na, i.
 

FAREWELL FOR TE RAUPARAHA

By Te Rangihaeata
 
Image of Te Rauparaha.
 
My carved canoe
My canoe that leapt the wave is shattered
Thrown in a heap on the deck
Of a man-of-war
Only the splinters remain.
Journey on, o Raha,
Stand before Tumatauenga.
The power of the Governor
Has divided Ngati Raukawa.
Journey on, O Raha,
Stand before Jesus Christ.
The power of the Governor
Has divided Ngati Toa
I call, are we to be cut
Into small pieces and you reply
'Remain at Porirua, in your neglected home.'
I will not weep now but later
In the lean time yet to come.
I must gather my thoughts.

Continue to Somme House or return to Plimmerton.