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Tamakae Reserve, Waiuku

Text Tamakae Reserve, Waiuku
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The George Doherty Green is located on the Tamakae Reserve in Waiuku.  On the reserve is assembled a cluster of heritage buildings including Hartmann House, which houses the local arts and crafts co-op selling top quality and varied crafts and gifts.

Tamakae stands at the entrance to the Tamakae Reserve on King St, Waiuku Legend has it that two prominent Wai O Hua brothers, Tamakae and Tamakou, vied for the hand of a beautiful high ranking Waikato chieftainess.

Tamakae was the cultivator, provider and Tamakou the orator. Tamakou was first to meet the chieftainess, but she requested that Tamakae be presented to her also. He was working in the kumara gardens and had to be washed in the wai and uku at the stream that flows into the Manukau just behind the museum, before he was able to meet her. Tamakae won her heart and married her. From then the place was named Waiuku.

This carving was made from some Kauri logs which New Zealand Steel found in a swamp they were excavating and were given back to Ngati Te Ata to use. The project took five years to complete and was undertaken at the Tahuna Marae.

On this reserve also are a collection of heritage buildings collected from around the area and relocated on the reserve. Buildings include the Maioro Creamery and a Waiuku lock-up. These buildings are managed by the Museum Trust. from 'Old Waiuku and District' by Brian Muir How Waiuku got it's name ... marriage and revenge.

In the days when the Ngatikahukoka tribe occupied the region, a chieftainess came from Waikato to Te Pai-o-Kaiwaka (now Waiuku) to choose a husband. Two chiefs were suitable. Tamakau good-looking but lazy, and his brother Tamakae, a hard worker. She met Tamakau, and unimpressed, asked for Tamakae who was in the kumara gardens.

Acting fast, the elders took him to the estuary where a spring gushed from the bank. Washed in the 'wai' (water) with 'uku', the soft white clay used as soap, he was the chosen one. The inlet became known as 'Waiuku'. Jealous, Tamakau killed Tamakae.

A party of chiefs came from Waikato in revenge, killing everyone in Te Pai-o-Kaiwaka except close relatives, who grateful for mercy, gave them a large area of land on the eastern shores of the estuary. These people, taking their name from a famous chieftainess of Te Pai-o-rehia, became ngatiteata, gradually taking over the remaining lands of Ngatikahukoka.

Address: Town Wharf area, Bottom of Queen St, Waiuku Map
Opening Hours:   Open 7 days.

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