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Locality: N.W. Ruahine Ranges on east bank of Rangitikei River. Situated on Awarua pt. 1DB2 and Aorangi Block.

Altitude: 4056 ft. (1236.27m) above sea level.

Description: Aorangi Block – 967 acres (391.33 ha), mainly clear country with up to 300 acres of native bush.
Pt. Awarua 1DB2 – comprising a triangular section of bush, approximately 3920 acres (1586.37 ha), and the balance containing approximately 960 acres (388.5ha) of forest and an unspecified area of clear country.  All Maori owned land.






This briefly outlines some history of the North West Ruahine and Inland Patea.  The north western Ruahines and adjacent areas including the Aorangi Awarua Trust Landsand the Moawhango Plateau are rich in Maori Spiritual tradition and values.  There are numerous historically important sites, including traditional and archaeological sites in the vicinity.

The area was also important to early Maori travellers as a route from the interior country to Hawkes Bay.  Many of these old Maori paths were used by later European explorers, including William Colenso.

Mt Aorangi, in particular, has spiritual significance, and has long been prized by the Maori for its abundance of birdlife and natural food.  Its history originated over five and a half centuries ago when Tamatea Pokai Whenua, ascended the mountain and deposited a sacred lizard, named Pohokura on its summit.  Tamatea deposited lizards at various points throughout inland Patea. These lizards became traditional landmarks and guardians of the land for Tamatea’s descendants. 

Tamatea also named the well known feature on the Rangitikei River below Aorangi, referred to as “The Narrows.”  After leaving the lizard on Aorangi Tamatea descended to the river and at the narrows, where the river runs through a narrow gut, he discovered a bird-snaring settlement belonging to a Chief called Tarinuku.  The Chief welcomed Tamatea and presented him with food consisting of birds preserved in their own fat.  Tamatea called the place “Te Papa a Tarinuku” (The food trough of Tarinuku) and like Aorangi it has retained its name to the present day.

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