Ngā Tohuwhenua Mai Te Rangi: A New Zealand Archeology in Aerial Photographs
'Te Puna, Bay of Islands ... a church missionary establishment'
Painted by Augustus Earle in about 1827, this view shows the slopes of Rangihoua to the left and the buildings of the mission settlement, right, apparently aligned end for end on the terraces visible in the aerial photograph.
Rangihoua, on the northern shore and towards the entrance of the Bay of Islands
The transverse ditches of the pā show clearly along with a suite of terraces. At bottom left are trenches used for horticultural purposes. The pā is about 180 m long and 45 m across. By the stream at top is Te Oihi, site of the mission settlement. The view is to the east. The painting on the previous page shows Rangihoua and Te Oihi from seaward.
Te Oihi, Marsden Cross, site of the first mission settlement of 1814
Cutting horizontally across the earlier Maori horticultural trenches (running down from the forest edge) are the house terraces of the 1814 settlement. There is a prominent line (80 m across) at middle and single terraces to the left by Marsden Cross. The houses were linked to the beach by deeply eroded tracks which are clearly discernible. The view is to the north.
Te Waimate, site of the Church Missionary Society farm and settlement, established in 1831
The mission house (the first of three) and church are at the top left. In the fields to the south of the 'T' intersection of the roads are the foundations of other buildings, initially the later mission houses converted to colleges under Bishop Selwyn. The dam and race for the flour mill, built in 1834, are on the Waihirore Stream at bottom right. A distinct double line about 100 m north of and parallel to the main road is a ditch and bank fence. Plough marks of indeterminate age also show near the mill site. (Interpretative drawing over page.)
Detail of 'The Waimate from Paheke Hill', a panorama of the mission station by T.B. Hutton. The colonial-Georgian form of the three mission houses with their hipped roofs is evident. At left is St John's (the second church on the site; the third, currently standing, was built in 1871); on this side of the church are the workers' tenements. The painting is c. 1850, following the actions by British troops. The view is to the north and the total span of the settlement seen here covers some 400 m.
Oblique view to the south-east of the Te Waimate complex. St John's Church is in the foreground and the surviving mission house above centre. Curatorial buildings lie behind the mission house.
The settlement at Te Oihi near the pā Rangihoua, in the outer Bay of Islands, was established by the Church Missionary Society in 1814, 1 and the Wesleyan (Methodist) mission at Kaeo was established in 1823. 2 Methodist Missions also developed farms in other regions, including the Aotea Harbour, whose agricultural features were discussed in chapter 8. Te Oihi (now known as Marsden Cross because of the memorial there) was established in an area of Māori settlement, and it appears the European party was offered just enough suitable land to settle but not enough to farm. Racked by conflict among the early missionary settlers, Te Oihi, the site of the first church services and school in New Zealand, failed after a few difficult decades. Both the Māori settlement and the modest terraces of the mission settlement, the latter packed up against the slope in a small bay, can still be seen. The pā, Rangihoua, is spectacular and has served as an archaeologist's model of how features seen on the ground today can be related to past activities, particularly since Augustus Earle sketched the habitations on it several times. 3 The pā dominates the small mission settlement, topographically and politically. The missionaries in turn appear to have established themselves on areas of former Māori garden shown by the down-slope trenches (of a type discussed in some detail in chapters 3 and 7) which lie above the house terraces of the small settlement.
In 1831, in the volcanic landscape of the inner Bay of Islands, the largest, most ambitious of the missionary agricultural settlements, Te Waimate (in the locality now known as Waimate North), was founded. 4 There three mission houses were built in 1831 under the supervision of a lay missionary, George Clarke. The mission houses were converted to colleges by Bishop Selwyn in 1842. Only one mission house, the largest of the three, still stands; the others survive as foundations in the fields but little is to be seen in aerial photographs. The present church was built in 1871 on the site of the preceding church (and that in turn was built on the site of a small chapel erected in 1831). On the agricultural side, a flour mill was set in operation in 1834; 5 its dam (some 85 m long) is still extant and shows clearly on aerial photographs. In 1845 the mission settlement was occupied by British troops as a base after the actions at Ohaeawai and Puketutu; a fortification was constructed just south of the colleges, and much damage done to the station. 6 The mill went out of use at some time in the 1850s, at about the same time that the mission station reverted to local control under a mission trust. At that time the surrounding land was leased out, its functions as a model farm no longer relevant, and the church and vicarage served mainly the local European population, 7 a pattern that was also seen at Aotea (see chapter 8).
Other features of this early agricultural settlement, established in part with the object of teaching English farming practice, can be detected in aerial photographs. These include the buildings used for a wheelwright's shop and other related farm industry. 8 Between Te Waimate and the settlement at Kerikeri, a road was constructed by Māori labour in 1835. The Māori settlement attached to Te Waimate has nothing to show in aerial photographs. However, workers' 'tenements' show faintly in early vertical aerial photographs. In February 1992 when I photographed the locality, the sole surviving mission house was partly obscured by trees, but the mill site was the clearest it had been for decades thanks to recent, careful clearance of trees by the landowner.