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What lies beneath – public talk on Whakatane’s archaeology

What lies beneath – public talk looks at Whakatane’s archaeology

People interested in learning more about the archaeological features of Whakatane and Ohope are in for a treat.

Awakeri-based archaeologist Lynda Walter will present a public lecture and lead a field trip looking at some of the district’s extraordinary archaeological features as part of a series of public archaeological talks being organised by the NZ Historic Places Trust.

First up will be Lynda’s public lecture entitled What’s Under Our Town? The Archaeology of Whakatane on May 9, 7pm at the Lyceum Club (58 Domain Rd, Whakatane).

“Over the past 15 years, significant information has been uncovered about the early occupation of Whakatane township,” says Lynda.

“Archaeologists have been piecing together the heritage landscape of the Whakatane township area which has been continuously occupied for several hundred years. A fishing village under parts of the township is arguably one of the most significant sites in the Bay of Plenty based on its age, complexity and potential to provide information relating to the early human history of the area.”

“I’m looking forward to bringing together some of this information and sharing it with people, who I’m sure will look at Whakatane with new eyes after the talk,” she says.

Lynda will be joined by the NZ Historic Places Trust’s Lower Northern Archaeologist, Rachel Darmody, who will also deliver a brief presentation on the NZHPT’s statutory role with archaeology in New Zealand.

“This is going to be a great talk with a lot of fascinating information about Whakatane’s archaeological past,” says Rachel.

And for people wanting to explore one of the eastern Bay of Plenty’s larger pa, Lynda Walter will also lead a guided tour of the Tauwhare Pa Scenic Reserve on May 18.

“The Tauwhare Pa reserve contains a complex of three pa on a low headland jutting into Ohiwa Harbour. The land around the harbour was heavily populated in prehistory due to its favourable climate, soils and access to abundant seafood,” says Lynda.

“It’s not surprising that there are 450 recorded sites around the harbour alone. Tauwhare Pa was a significant settlement, and so we’ll be exploring this special heritage place and learning more about the people who lived here.”

What’s Under Our Town? The Archaeology of Whakatane takes place at the Lyceum Club on May 9 at 7pm. Admission free, though bookings are recommended – contact the NZHPT’s Tauranga office on Ph 07-577-4530 or email

The Tauwhare Pa Field Trip takes place on May 18 at 10am.


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