Our Treaty Partner, Te Papa Atawhai, is installing safety barriers on Te Kawau Tūmaro-ō-Tōi to better protect the community and island visitors when navigating the walking tracks near the copper mines.
Our team has been involved in the planning and implementation of this project since early 2020 and last week the entire project team came together for a pre-start meeting and karakia lead by our Cultural & Heritage Advisor, Carmen Hetaraka.
Te Kawau Tūmaro-ō-Tōi, more commonly shortened and referred to as "Kawau Island" is located in Te Moana-nui-ō-Tōi Hauraki Gulf.
Te Kawau Tūmaro-ō-Tōi is of great cultural significance for the Ngāti Manuhiri Settlement Trust and also other iwi groups who have an interest in the island. In 2017, our Chairman, Terrence (Mook) Hohneck, shared some of the history of Te Kawau Tūmaro-ō-Tōi with Auckland Council for Matariki.
The below text has been sourced via Te Papa Atawhai's website:
Te Kawau Tūmaro-ō-Tōi is a site of one of New Zealand's earliest mining ventures. Remnants of the copper mining industry remain and can be explored using the network of tracks through the Kawau Island Historic Reserve.
Copper was discovered by accident. The original mining operations were to extract manganese. Copper was mined from 1844 until June 1852 when the mines were inundated.
There were up to 300 people living on the island during this period. Mining villages were located at Mansion House Bay, Two House Bay, Sunny Bay, Schoolhouse Bay, Dispute Cove, and Miners Bay.
The copper ore eventually became difficult to extract, because most of the mine workings were below sea level and had to be constantly pumped free of water.
Problems were also encountered shipping the ore to the Northern Hemisphere. In 1849 a smelting works was built to partially process the ore on the island. A rival smelting operation was built on Motuketekete Island.
Eventually, flooding and competition between two companies working the same ore body led to closure of the mine in 1852.
Come with us (virtually) to site
Here is a short video of our trip out to the island where the Resource Management Unit, Te Papa Atawhai and the contractors all came together to have a pre-start meeting.
Special mention to Kawau Cruises for always providing safe passage.
Important: This was filmed during Alert Level-1
Ngāti Manuhiri Settlement Trust