The land where the Battle of Te Ranga took place will be redeveloped to tell the story of what occurred and educate visitors about its importance.
The battle holds a significant place in Tauranga’s history and nationally as part of the New Zealand Land Wars, although the current site does not reflect its importance.
Tauranga City Council, in partnership with Ngāi Tamarāwaho and the Pukehinahina Charitable Trust, is redeveloping the land as part of an initiative to acknowledge the significance of the area, educate visitors, and provide more opportunities for the community to engage with stories of Tauranga Moana.
The project was raised during the Te Papa Spatial Plan process, and saw funding allocated through Tauranga City Council’s Long-Term Plan (LTP) in 2021.
The project will see a tomokanga (gateway) and car park built from Joyce Road, and a walkway at the site. A planted embankment will also be installed parallel to Pyes Pā Road for sound protection.
Carvings, additional walkways, information panels, and a covered structure are also planned once additional funding is secured.
Significance to Tauranga
The Battle of Te Ranga took place on 21 June 1864 at an area of land near the corner of Pyes Pā Road and Joyce Road and was seen as retaliation from British forces after their defeat at the Battle of Gate Pā the previous month.
Māori defenders, made up of local and other iwi from around the North Island suffered heavy losses during the battle.
Each year a commemoration is held at the site near where a marker was placed in 1964 to acknowledge 100 years since the battle. There is a significant portion of land which can be used to further tell the history of the area alongside the existing marker.
On-site work began in May 2022 with the formation of a bund near where the 100-year anniversary marker sits.
The community will have an opportunity to get involved with a planting weekend scheduled for 17, 18 and 19 June 2022. The project is scheduled to be completed by July 2023.
Media release: Remembering the Battle of Te Ranga as restoration of historic site begins