Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Te Urewera National Park
On 28 July 1954, the catchment areas of Lake Waikaremoana, Lake Waikareiti and other Crown reserves were gazetted as national park. By 1957 proposals were well underway to add the rest of the Crown land in Te Urewera north of Ruatahuna to the park. This proposal was formalised in November 1957 when an additional 1,350 km² were added to the park. Further additions were made in 1962, 1975 and 1979, with smaller acquisitions and boundary alterations in the intervening period. It should be noted that the lakebed and Maori enclaves were not included in the park gazetting.
The Crown has leased the lakebed of Lake Waikaremoana. The lakebed is managed by the 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.
Very strangely, the park's name comes from the Maori words ure meaning penis and wera meaning burnt, so the name means "burnt penis" in Maori (see the list of interesting or unusual place names for more.)
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