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Makurerua Swamp Conservation Area
Makurerua was an extensive area of swampland stretching from the present settlement of Linton south to Shannon on the east bank of the Manawatū River.
Makurerua is a significant site to Rangitāne O Manawatū as historically it was an abundant source of numerous foods for Rangitāne O Manawatū: eels, freshwater crayfish, mussels, tui, weka, kereru, kaka, kakapo, matuku-hurepo (brown bittern) and hinau berries. The well known Maire was also found in this swamp area which was used for weaponry purposes.
The swamp contained a huge expanse of raupo, toetoe and harakeke. The latter became the basis of a commercial flax growing industry which flourished between 1870 and 1930. At the peak of processing, 14,000 acres of flax were grown and harvested in Makurerua Swamp. This area was not part of the Te Ahu a Turanga Block sale and was not allocated to Rangitāne O Manawatū during the Native Land Court Hearings despite its value being a rich source of flax to the iwi.
The area was recorded with the spelling Makerua by JT Stewart in 1858, and in Land Court records between 1872 and 1890. But an alternative spelling, Makererua, was adopted by the Wellington and Manawatū Railway Company Ltd. between 1889 and 1893. After this date, the spelling of the same location was further shortened to Makerua - an inaccurate rendering of the original Rangitāne O Manawatū spelling, which continues to be utilised by municipal and Crown agencies.
As Rangitaane O Manawatu develop their capacity they look forward to the future and the time when they are fully engaged in upholding the principle of kaitiaki over the Makurerua Swamp Conservation Area.