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Pukepuke Lagoon Conservation Area
Pukepuke Lagoon is of immense historical, cultural, spiritual and traditional significance to Rangitāne o Manawatū.
Lakes Omanuka, Pukepuke and Kaikokopu provided valuable mahinga kai and an abundance of tuna to Rangitāne o0 Manawatū in the early times. They are the places where Rangitāne o Manawatū would stop overnight to replenish food stocks and to rest while travelling between Rangitikei and Manawatū. Lakes Omanuka and Kaikokopu remain in Maori ownership however the title of Lake Pukepuke is now vested in the Department of Conservation.
Pa were established on the southern side of the Pukepuke Lagoon. Mahinga kai were also established and still utilised today.
Land Court records pertaining to the Himatangi Block reveal that the area was an important source of eel, fern root, kokapu, koko (tui), kereru and kiekie. Numerous cultivations were situated along the Coast, particularly Himatangi. A variety of native and migrating birds were located in the wetlands, lagoons, lakes and swamps at Himatangi and Pukepuke.
Rangitāne o Manawatū oral histories record a number of battles occurring in the vicinity and over the lagoon.
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 Pukepuke Lagoon.