Hatu­patu gets an up­grade

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - NEW ZEALAND TRANS­PORT AGENCY

A joint project to en­hance the site of State High­way One’s iconic Hatu­patu Rock south of Toko­roa has wrapped up with the plant­ing of na­tive trees.

The New Zealand Trans­port Agency, Mana Whenua, Her­itage New Zealand, and the South Waikato District Coun­cil have worked to­gether in an ef­fort to beau­tify the area, cre­ate safer ac­cess and im­prove vis­i­tor knowl­edge with the ad­di­tion of sto­ry­boards that tell of its his­tory.

Hatu­patu Rock or Te Kowhatu o Hatu­patu is a wahi tapu site and is known as the place where the leg­endary trav­eller Hatu­patu sought refuge in­side the rock it­self af­ter be­ing pur­sued by Ku­run­gaituku.

‘‘This is the only reg­is­tered wahi tapu site in the South Waikato so we are very pleased to have worked with our part­ners to pre­serve the cul­tural and his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance of Hatu­patu for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions to en­joy,’’ the Trans­port Agency’s direc­tor of re­gional re­la­tion­ships Parekawhia Mclean said.

The project in­volved up­grad­ing the carpark, ac­cess, drainage, and a land­scaped area sur­round­ing the rock.

The re­design recre­ates the do­main of Ku­run­gaituku us­ing na­tive plants that also pro­vide a habi­tat for na­tive birds.

‘‘We are very pleased to have worked with our part­ners to pre­serve the cul­tural and his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance of Hatu­patu.’’

SUP­PLIED

The site sur­round­ing the iconic Hatu­patu Rock south of Toko­roa has been re­vamped.

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