Berrysmith Foundation

Puwheke Heritage Property

Puwheke Heritage Property

In June 2009 Berrysmith Foundation announced the purchase of a 'Puwheke' a unique heritage coastal property in Northland.

Located on the Karikari Peninsula on Northland's far East Coast the 600 acre property is immediately adjacent to Mt Puwheke and has strong cultural, ecology and environmental significance. Features include a wetland, two lakes (including Lake Rotokawau), regenerating native forest, sand dunes and 6 km of pristine white sand beach.

Announcing the acquisition, Ashley Berrysmith said that Puwheke was a truly unique example of New Zealand's natural bio-diversity and in keeping with Berrysmith Foundation's vision of creating a legacy was a long-term strategic investment for the trust.

Announcing the acquisition, Ashley Berrysmith said that 'Puwheke' was a truly unique example of New Zealand's natural bio-diversity and would be the obvious site to deliver on many of the Foundation's educational, environmental and research ambitions.

In keeping wit the Trust's vision of creating a legacy that can be shared, Puwheke will be developed as an 'edu-tainment' styled destination that combines education with entertainment to create a high impact learning experience.

History of Puwheke

Puwheke is of significance to local people Te Whanau Moana and the significance of its name is told in their stories. Te Whanau Moana ancestor Te Parata came on the Mamaru canoe to the district. The canoe could not enter the Rangaunu harbour because when they reached the entrance, an octopus was stretched out at the mouth and they could not get through. Te Parata said to his whanau, 'we'd better paddle to the foot of that mountain'. So Te Parata's canoe turned round and landed beneath the mountain on the seacoast of Karikari.

The name of this mountain today is Puwheke. It is from this landing that the saying "Puwheke is the mountain" originates. The reason it became Puwheke is because it is a hill with the contours of an octopus (Wheke means octopus in Maori). The head of the octopus is on the right hand side, the legs are on the left. It is said that the eyes and pouch of the octopus can be seen from its seaward side. The legs of the octopus are visible in the contours of Puwheke.

Ecological significance

Puwheke Beach is recognised as being a site of ecological significance, both in terms of the habitat types that are present and the threatened species that occur there. Additionally, the site also serves as a representative example of the historic (pre-Maori) Northland coastal ecosystems and community assemblages that are presently severely depleted and under threat.

Identified by DOC (Dept of Conservation) Northland Conservation Management Strategy as a 'priority area' for integrated conservation management Puwheke is the obvious cornerstone for the vision and values of the Berrysmith Foundation charitable trust.

Puwheke Heritage Property

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