‘An Ancient Garden – History of Puketarata’
From bush clearings to a palisaded earth structure, Māori lived and gardened at Puketarata or its adjacent kainga (village) Keteonetea for four or five hundred years. Well located, in clearings in heavy bush, with fresh water, the nearby Mangemange river, and an escape route up a forest track to the safety of the Ngaere swamp.
Sometime around the 15th or 16th centuries, the age of pa building began and Puketarata pa is one of a number in the valley. Little specific history is known of that time.
The musket wars beginning in the 1820s impacted heavily on Taranaki and on Puketarata/ Keteonetea. The arrival of Pakeha in increasing numbers from 1840, the 1860s’ land wars and the consequent confiscation of Māori land had a destructive effect throughout Taranaki.
Puketarata garden lies just inside an outer pa rampart, on a warm, north-facing, free-draining slope.
Enjoy the garden, a walk along the pa site and a conversation about Puketarata’s place in history with owner and amateur historian Ken Horner.