Our maunga

What is special about Mt Whakapunake?

Our maunga stands 962m high and looks out over the Tiniroto area.

It is our school logo and is included in our school song in the lines “Our mountain watches us grow…”.


It is a very special place which has meant many different things to different people over the years.

We learnt from Mr Cameron that there was a big fortress on top of the mountain that you could see from the Tiniroto side where the pine trees are now. The indentations from the kumara pits are still there. A lot of battles were fought there, especially by the Maori tribes that visited the area to gather kai. Te Kooti was chased there by the Red Coats and they reckon that he hid under the mountain in a big lake. Not sure if that lake really exists but it is a story that is often told.


We also learned stories about the big caves up on the mountain. Apparently there are some big drop outs or tomos up there.

These photos of Mount Whakapunake were taken during our school Horse Trek fundraiser in 2009 and 2010.

From time to time people, pig hunters have lost dogs in the caves.

Mr Cameron told us that if you are riding a horse around up there that they can sense the tomos and they won’t go near them and you just trust them and it could save your life!


Mr Kent told us that “Most of the early buildings in Tiniroto were built from Whakapunake trees milled in a timber mill set up on the Te Reinga side of the mountain. In fact the mill supplied the timber for the Tiniroto, Te Reinga and surrounding areas. The Baty family who made up the ‘main band’ in those days worked on the mill.”

It sure is a special place to us because it is always watching over us and protecting us all in Tiniroto. One of my favourite times of year is when it is white with snow!

By Crevice