Tawhirihoe Scientific Reserve

Tawhirihoe Scientific Reserve and dune-lands is of historical, cultural, spiritual and traditional significance to Rangitāne o Manawatū.

Tawhirihoe was an important site and Nohonga area for people travelling along the coast or linking up with trails following inland to Pukepuke and Puketotara.  The Tawhirihoe area has traditionally been a launching area for waka and Rangitāne o Manawatū fishing station.  Rangitāne o Manawatū also commonly collected pipi along the coastline.  The Tawhirihoe area had a number of large active dunes where traditionally plant and weaving resources such as pingao were collected.  

Tawhirihoe and the adjacent coastline is recognized by the Department of Conservation as a unique area for its flora, fauna and landforms. The area is also recognized by Rangitāne o Manawatū for this and the natural resources utilized by the Iwi.

The area is one of the last natural coastal (backshore – foredune) environments with a number of rare sedges and flora.  This is one of the last places that the endangered native Katipo spider is found. The Katipo spider is an important figure within Rangitāne o Manawatū lore.   

Over recent years numerous archaeological sites have been discovered unearthing middens and numerous artefacts providing important insights into the early history and use of the area by Rangitāne o Manawatū.

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 Manawatū coastline including the Tawhirihoe area.