Matiu/Somes Island facts
European settlers named the island after Joseph Somes, the New Zealand Company’s deputy governor.
About 40 people are buried there and most of the burials took place between 1872 and 1876.
In 1942 the island was fortified with anti-aircraft gun emplacements, but these were never used.
The island opened to the public in 1995.
Somes Island was returned to iwi ownership in 2008.