Te Maraeroa Flat on Te Hauturu-o-Toi/Little Barrier Island was extensively used for cultivation by Māori then Pākehā. The ground was never disturbed by powered machinery and so has high archaeological value.


Te Hauturu-o-Toi has been occupied by Māori from the times of early Polynesian settlement through to 1894 when the government contentiously legislated it as a nature reserve, a role that continues to the present day.

Made up of alluvial soils trapped behind boulder banks, the Te Maraeroa flat is the only area of flat land on the island and as such has been used extensively for cultivation both by Māori and Pākehā caretakers. Ngāti Manuhiri hapu are the principal iwi, and maintain an active on-going association with the island.

The archaeological sites are significant because they potentially date back to earliest Polynesian times, are relatively undisturbed, and represent a comprehensive range of site types, including rare gardening sites. The island is also significant as one of the first flora and fauna nature reserves in New Zealand.

One of eight Heritage Assessments by Andy Dodd about historic heritage sites in the Auckland Region. Each constitutes descriptions of history and fabric; historic significance assessments; management history and recommendations; information sources and references; a map and definitive photographs, and a chronology of events.

Publication information

Author: Andy Dodd, Department of Conservation, Auckland Conservancy

ISBN: 978-0-478-14299-0 (web PDF)


Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland Office
Phone:   +64 9 307 9279
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   Bledisloe House
Level 7
24 Wellesley Street West
Auckland 1010
Postal Address:   Private Bag 68908
Wellesley Street
Auckland 1141

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