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Rangiriri Paa symbolic restoration

Rangiriri Paa symbolic restoration

Rangiriri Paa symbolic restoration

The landscaping contract for the symbolic restoration of the historic Rangiriri Paa, site of the 1863 Battle of Rangiriri, has been won by Natural Habitats.

Waikato-Tainui and the NZ Transport Agency have unveiled plans for the project, which is included in the 4.8km Rangiriri section of the Waikato Expressway.

It will involve infilling a cutting on a now disused section of SH1 and an interpretation of the layout of the paa site using the old military survey to reveal the historic footprint back in 1863.

The paa site was the key landmark in the 1863 Battle of Rangiriri, which was the first major engagement in the invasion of the Waikato, during the New Zealand Land Wars. It was severed by the construction of the then SH1 in the early 1960s.

The new 4.8km Rangiriri section of the Waikato Expressway has moved SH1 to the west providing the opportunity to reinstate the historically important area.

Carved pou will mark the full line of the battle trench to help tell the story of the site and its history. A car-parking area will also be constructed to encourage people to spend time to explore the area’s history.

The $750,000 restoration is part of the $105 million Rangiriri section of the Waikato Expressway.

Natural Habitats has been working on landscaping the borders for both the Huntly and Rangiriri sections turning the Expressway into a “green way”, says the company’s owner, Graham Cleary.

“As we have an employment support programme with the local iwi, the team is really proud to have been selected for this significant symbolic restoration project,” says Graham.