The battle holds a significant place in Tauranga’s history and nationally as part of the New Zealand Land Wars, although the current site does not reflect its importance.
Tauranga City Council, in partnership with Ngāi Tamarāwaho and the Pukehinahina Charitable Trust, is restoring the land as part of an initiative to acknowledge the significance of the area, educate visitors, and provide more opportunities for the community to engage with stories of Tauranga Moana.
The project was raised during the Te Papa Spatial Plan process, and saw funding allocated through Tauranga City Council’s Long-Term Plan (LTP) in 2021.
The project will see a tomokanga (gateway)with carvings, information panels and seating added to the site. A car park will be built from Joyce Road, and a walkway will connect the car part to the rest of the site. A planted embankment has been installed parallel to Pyes Pā Road for sound protection.
Drone shot of site - 2021
Significance to Tauranga
The Battle of Te Ranga took place on 21 June 1864 at an area of land near the corner of Pyes Pā Road and Joyce Road and was seen as retaliation from British forces after their defeat at the Battle of Gate Pā the previous month.
Māori defenders, made up of local and other iwi from around the North Island suffered heavy losses during the battle.
Each year a commemoration is held at the site near where a marker was placed in 1964 to acknowledge 100 years since the battle. There is a significant portion of land which can be used to further tell the history of the area alongside the existing marker.
On-site work began in May 2022 with the formation of a bund near where the 100-year anniversary marker sits.
The project is expected to be completed by October 2023.
Media release: Remembering the Battle of Te Ranga as restoration of historic site begins