Omarupapako / Round Bush Scenic Reserve

Omarupapako / Round Bush Scenic Reserve is of historical, cultural, spiritual and traditional significance to Rangitāne o Manawatū. 

The Reserve is an isolated area of bush, kahikatea (white pine) atop sand dunes about three miles north of the Manawatū River Estuary. Being part of the coastal dune sequence the Reserve was noted on early surveys as an area of bush named Omarupapako. The site was occupied seasonally by Rangitāne o Manawatū for the gathering of kai and other nearby marine resources.

Some mystery shrouds the area today. Some Rangitāne o Manawatū hapu consider the area tapu. This is due to deaths occurring in the vicinity and being associated with the surrounding lakes and the location of the taniwha that Matangi slayed after settling the coastal Te Piropiro area.

The surrounding area was cultivated and used by Rangitāne o Manawatū and another iwi for gathering kiekie and eel.  The dune lakes that once existed in the area were also a plentiful supply of eel for Rangitāne o Manawatū and the Kurahaupo iwi, who both recognised Omarupapako as a prominent marker (dune) in the landscape.  The area between Omarupapako and Himatangi was known as Te Piropiro. 

Omarupapako / Round Bush is the largest and one of the most important dune forest remnants on the lower North Island west coast. It was selectively logged and partially drained in 1918. The Manawatū District Council planted the south-eastern part of the reserve in pine trees, and removal of these was completed in 2000 and restorative planting undertaken. The reserve is fenced, however vegetation damage and wallowing is caused by sambar deer.

The reserve was formally named 'Round Bush Scenic Reserve' by the Department of Lands & Survey in 1964.

Significant Sites to Rangitāne o Manawatū



Orua Kai Tawa Occupied location
Te Humetu Occupied location
Omarupapako Bush / occupied location
Haku-purua Lagoon
Okemaha Lagoon
Kai Iwi Site

As Rangitāne o Manawatū develop their capacity they look forward to the future and the time when they are fully engaged in upholding the principle of kaitiaki over Omarupapako / Round Bush Scenic Reserve.