Oroua River

The Oroua River is of historical, cultural, spiritual and traditional significance to Rangitāne O Manawatū.  The histories and traditions of Rangitāne O Manawatū such as waitata, korero and whakairo outline the connections Rangitāne O Manawatū have with the Oroua River.  These histories link Rangitāne O Manawatū in this area to past generations and with the natural world such as Ranginui and Papatuanuku.

The Oroua River flows through the centre of Rangitāne O Manawatū Rohe with its source originating from the Ruahine Range.   One of the most significant qualities is the mauri that flows from the central Ruahine Range through the Rohe connecting the Range to the wetlands and sand country and finally to the Manawatū River.

The River provided essential travel and communication from the lower (Opiki Area) Manawatū River through the bountiful Taonui Swamps to the upper Rohe.  The River was heavily populated in these areas such as Mangawhata, Tu Putaangi, Nga Whakaatu and Te Awahuri.  The River was also a mahinga kai in its own right. 

Most settlements in this area had associated Urupa.

Cultural Landscape

The Oroua River flowed through a variety of environments almost covering a sample of landscape found within the Rohe.  Forest cover of matai, rimu, miro and tawa grew from amongst the scrub throughout its course with areas of forests dominated by kahikatea with pukatea around wetlands and more sluggish streams.  In some isolated locations totara predominated.

Large areas of the lower water course were covered with flax.   This fertile land also contained some of the richest food supplies in the Manawatū Region, with the most desired item being tuna which could be caught in huge quantities from the waters of the swamps adjacent to the riverbanks and streams. 

Sites of Significance



Te Rangimarie Church/Marae
Kohanga Kainga
Okehu Kainga
Te Hoiere Kainga
Te Kopane Kainga
Te Mauhau Kainga
Te Putanga Kainga
Te Rua Puha Kainga
Apiti Occupied location
Hokorua Occupied location
Komata Occupied location
Parimunakau Occupied location
Pariroa Occupied location
Pariwharariki Occupied location
Pate Occupied location
Te Kai Rakau Occupied location
Te Kirihapuki Occupied location



Te Rua Te Eka Occupied location
Te Waita Occupied location
Te Whanua Upainga Occupied location
Tiroriki Occupied location
Ture Onga Occupied location
Whakaito Occupied location
Mangawhata Pa
Puketotara Pa/Urupa
Rata Pa/Urupa
Whitirea Pa
Te Pukakura Swamp
Te Roto Nui A Hau Swamp
Te Roto Apa Moana tuna
Hikatoto Urupa
Whitirea Urupa
More ehu Urupa
Rangiotu Papa Kainga/village

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 the Oroua River.