In July 2022 DOC publicly notified a proposal to vest Te Paina (Mercer Domain Recreation Reserve) in Waikato-Tainui and classify the land as local purpose marae. Submissions closed 8 August 2022.

This proposal is made under the Reserves Act 1977.

Application details


To vest Te Paina (Mercer Domain Recreation Reserve) in Waikato-Tainui.

Location of land parcel proposed for vesting and classification

Te Paina (Mercer Domain Recreation Reserve) is on the eastern side of the Waikato River, at Mercer in northern Waikato, adjacent to the Waikato Expressway. Allotment 136, Parish of Koheroa Pt Allotment 39, Parish of Koheroa (Section 1 SO Plan 565866) and Koheroa 90B Block.

Summary of proposal

To vest the 38.6885 ha reserve to Trustees of the Waikato Raupatu Lands Trust and classify it as local purpose marae.

About the proposal and the site

Te Paina (Mercer Domain Recreation Reserve) is a culturally significant site in north Waikato, near the Waikato River.

The reserve is part of an area comprising the (pre-European) Mangatāwhiri Pā site. The site has significant links to the Waikato land wars from July 1863 to April 1864. The crossing of Mangatāwhiri stream on the northern boundary signalled the commencement of those wars.

The site is significant to the Waikato-Tainui historical tribal narrative – in particular for the Ngāti Naho and Ngāti Tamaoho hapū – for various reasons, including the relocation of whānau from Te Paina to Ngāruawāhia to establish Tūrangawaewae marae more than 100 years ago.

The proposal outlined a change which would result in reserve be vested in Waikato-Tainui and classified as a local purpose marae. The proposal was supported in principle by Waikato District Council, which previously had management responsibility the site.

DOC’s role has been to manage the process for the repurposing and vesting of the reserve to Waikato-Tainui. That process included public notification of the proposal, and an opportunity for the public and organisations to make submissions.

Map of vesting (PDF, 1,009K)


Submissions on this proposal closed on 8 August 2022.

DOC received 32 submissions:

  • 24 supported the proposal,
  • 7 opposed the proposal, and
  • 1 submission did not make a particular position clear.

DOC staff analysed all submissions and hearings on submissions were held on 29 September.

A recommendation document was subsequently prepared for the Minister of Conservation Hon Poto Williams.


Minister Williams has approved the classification of Mercer Domain Recreation Reserve (Te Paina) as local purpose(marae) reserve and vest the reserve in the Trustees of the Waikato Raupatu Lands Trust (Waikato Tainui).


If you have a question about the application or the submission process you can contact

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