Tamaterau Reserve name change

Submissions closed on 18 October 2022, 04:00 PM

Photo showing picnic tables by the stream and beach at Tamaterau.

We were seeking feedback on the name change of the reserve at Tamaterau from:

  • Devonshire Park – Tamaterau Recreation Reserve to
  • Te Whenua Tāpui o Tamaterau (which translates to Tamaterau Reserve).  

Tamaterau has been undergoing a series of beautification projects and now a renaming of the reserve is being considered.

We wanted to get feedback from you on the proposed name change before we did this.

Photo showing people planting natives by the stream at Tamaterau.

A bit of background first

Today a popular spot for swimming and picnicking, Tamaterau beach and reserve has a rich cultural history dating back 700 - 800 years.

Council won Tourism Infrastructure funding to upgrade the two carparks with safety improvements, native plantings, and signage outlining the historic importance of the site, which was once a large active kāinga (village) and tauranga waka (moorage) until the mid-1800s.

While carrying out community consultation we received a request to rename the Devonshire Park – Tamaterau Recreation Reserve.

The reserve has had several name changes over the years. In 1928 it was named Tamaterau Domain before being classified as a recreation reserve in 1953 and renamed as Tamaterau Domain Recreation Reserve.

In 1980, its name was changed in recognition of Charlie Devonshire, a local teacher who played a role in ecologically restoring the reserve.

Kaumātua and members of the local hapū have now offered a name change as "Te Whenua Tāpui o Tamaterau", which translates to Tamaterau Reserve. They feel the name will encompass the wider history of the area, and highlight the rich cultural history of the site, inclusive of the efforts made by Mr Devonshire

Devonshire Track

If we go ahead with the name change, Mr Devonshire will continue to be remembered in the name of the track which runs from Tamaterau Hall to Scott Road with new signage at both ends. Two Devonshire family memorial plaques will be moved and reinstalled onto a new park bench.

Signage for Devonshire Park at the start of the Tamaterau walkway.

Tamaterau - a site rich in history

Tamaterau is a place of rich and long-spanning cultural significance.

Archaeological excavations show it was an area intense coastal settlement dating back 700 - 800 years.

Local narratives and genealogy of Whangārei tribes provide an illustration of pre-European occupation, shaped by passages across the Pacific Ocean and complex intertribal relationships of the Tai Tokerau (Northland) and beyond.

The site of the current Tamaterau reserve remains from what was once a large active kāinga (village) and tauranga waka (moorage) until the mid-1800s.

Today the reserve retains connection to the descendants of Ngāti Tū, Te Kahu o Torongare, Te Parawhau and Te Tāwera o Ngāti Pūkenga.  

Feedback closed at 4:00pm on Tuesday 18 October 2022.


Devonshire Park (Tamaterau Reserve), 650 Whangarei Heads Road, Tamaterau 0174  View Map

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