Northland mountain lookout opens

  • 20/02/2016
Mount Parihaka (Facebook)
Mount Parihaka (Facebook)

A new lookout on top of Mount Parihaka near Whangarei is being opened.

Parihaka is an eroded bushclad volcanic cone visible from many places in Whangarei.

It's a former pa site which was once home to more than 2000 people and is one of the most significant mountains for Maori in Northland.

Organisers expect hundreds of people to gather at 10am today for the ceremony, which includes an unveiling of a sculpted rock, kohatu.

Master carver Te Warihi Hetaraka crafted the kohatu and said it was symbolic of the mountain being restored to its proper name, Parihaka, after being mis-pronounced Parahaki for many years.

In 2003 Whangarei hapu agreed the correct name for the mountain was Parihaka and after a campaign the name was formally changed in 2005.

The lookout's design mimics the parapets of the pa that once stood there, with stainless steel panels that describe its history, and a panorama that identifies the locations it overlooks.

The kohatu comes from Lake Waro, just north of Whangarei.