Te_Urewera_National_Park

Te Urewera National Park

Te Urewera National Park is one of fourteen national parks within New Zealand and is the largest of the four in the North Island. Covering an area of approximately 2,127 km², it is in the north east of the Hawke's Bay region of the North Island.

On 28 July 1954, the catchment areas of Lake Waikaremoana, Lake Waikareiti and other Crown reserves were gazetted as a national park, and by 1957 proposals were well underway to add the rest of the Crown land in Te Urewera north of Ruatahuna. This proposal was formalised in November 1957 when an additional 1,350 km² were added. Further additions were made in 1962, 1975 and 1979, with smaller acquisitions and boundary alterations in the intervening period.

The lake bed and Māori enclaves were not included in the park gazetting. The Crown has leased the lakebed, which is managed by the New Zealand Department of Conservation.

Te Urewera is the traditional home of the Tuhoe people. Due to its geographical isolation, it was one of the last regions to come under control of the British during colonization in the 1800s. Te Kooti, the Māori leader, found refuge there from his pursuers among Tuhoe, with whom he formed an alliance.

The park's name comes from the Māori words ure meaning penis and wera meaning burnt, so it means "burnt penis" in Māori. The name comes from the tale of a Māori chief who died after rolling over in his sleep while lying too close to a camp fire.

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