The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year.
Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau recently made the announcement in the Central Hawke’s Bay town, with the promise of attracting more tourism into the region.
The project will inform visitors about the history of six pā sites in Waipukurau with a combination of whare korero (carved gathering spaces), pou whenua (carved posts), along with interpretative signage and digital storytelling.
"The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project aims to create a sense of belonging, connection and understanding within the local community in regard to the pā sites," Tabuteau said.
"PGF funding will be used to tell the story of how iwi came to the area and what these pā sites were used for,” he added.
"The areas are archaeologically, spiritually and culturally significant, and these pā sites are of particular importance to hāpu and whānau in the area and in the wider regions."
The project will begin in March this year, focusing on the development of the largest pā site, Pukekaihau.
The remaining five pā sites, Te Waipukurau, Kaimanawa, Kaitoroa, Ruatangaroa, and Moana-i-rokia, will be completed in 2020.