Hatupatu gets an upgrade
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.’’
The site surrounding the iconic Hatupatu Rock south of Tokoroa has been revamped.