Te Pane o Mataoho / Te Ara Pueru

Māngere Mountain

The name Māngere references Ngā Hau Māngere, or 'the idle breezes'.  The name Te Pane o Mataoho translates as 'the head of Mataoho', the Māori deity who is the guardian of secrets hidden in the earth. The name Te Ara Pueru refers to a historic event that occurred on the Maunga prior to European arrival. 

This Maunga, like so many across the region, was an important defensive pā. The high slopes along the south and northwest sides were heavily terraced, and these terraces can be clearly seen today. 

The eastern rim of the smaller crater was a main kai (food) store for the pā, and the rows of rectangular storage pits still exist to this day. 

 

RECENT HISTORY

Though this Maunga is one of the few in Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland to maintain a mostly original form, it did not completely escape quarrying. Between 1900 and the mid-1960s six separate scoria pits were quarried around the lower norther and eastern slopes.

The largest north-eastern ridge, from which the name Te Ara Pueru originated, was completely quarried away, and is now the site of bowling and tennis clubs. 

Today Te Pane o Mataoho / Te Ara Pueru / Māngere Mountain is enjoyed as a place for reflection and recreation. Two sports fields and a play space close to the main entrance off Domain Road are enjoyed by the local community. 

 

GEOLOGY

Te Pane o Mataoho / Te Ara Pueru / Māngere Mountain is the largest and best preserved of the volcanic features in the southern part of Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland. 

The eruption of this Maunga has been dated to around 50,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest volcanoes in the region. Fire fountaining from the large main crater produced a scoria cone standing 105 metres tall. A second smaller crater sits on the northern rim of the larger crater. A third U-shaped breached crater was removed by quarrying in the 1950s - 60s. 

One feature unique to Te Pane o Mataoho / Te Ara Pueru / Māngere Mountain is the 12-meter tall conical mound in the centre of the main crater. This is actually a near-solid basalt rock plug, known as a tholoid, expelled from the crater vent during the eruption. 

Large volumes of lava flowed from the around the base of the volcano during the eruption, spanning out approximately 500 hectares. 

 

VEGETATION RESTORATION

Restoring native vegetation across the network of Maunga is a long-term goal for the Authority. 

Between May and August 2019, we began the vegetation restoration of Te Pane o Mataoho / Te Ara Pueru / Māngere Mountain with the removal of approximately 150 exotic trees, a significant portion of which had been identified as pest plants.  The safety of visitors from the likes of falling macrocarpa was also a consideration.  No native, scheduled or protected trees were removed.

Replanting with native species has already begun, and over several successive planting seasons around 13,000 new natives will be planted on the Maunga. Plantings will be carefully positioned to enhance sight lines to and from the tihi (summit), and over time they will establish into a semblance of the native ecosystem reflective of what was originally present. 

Te Pane o Mataoho / Te Ara Pueru / Māngere Mountain is home to the most significant native skink habitats of any of the Maunga sites, and a new planted habitat for native ornate and copper skinks will also be established.

All components of this restoration work are about restoring the Maunga as an important indigenous landscape. 

 

MĀNGERE MOUNTAIN EDUCATION CENTRE

Māngere Mountain Education Centre is a multi-faceted centre for people of all ages - a living museum with first-hand access to Te Pane o Mataoho / Te Ara Pueru / Māngere Mountain and its rich history of Māori settlement over the centuries. 

From the centre on Coronation Road, Māngere Bridge, visitors can take guided walks hosted by Mana Whenua, and visit traditional and medicinal gardens.

 

SUMMIT ROAD GATE ACCESS HOURS

Summer: 7am-8.30pm
Winter: 7am-7pm.

Times align to Daylight Savings.

 

LOCATION

15 Domain Road, Māngere Bridge, Auckland