Written by: Will Bowden
The site at Te Arai Point, Mangawhai has a rich cultural history and consequently is of great significance to local Iwi. The Te Arai and Mangawhai Trust was set up not only to encourage the on-going protection of the rare NZ Fairy Tern (and other endangered species along the coastline) but also to ensure that any areas of significant cultural value were identified and protected pre- and post- development of the site. As such, two middens were identified within the boundary of the course.
Middens are a refuse from human occupation. They are places where food remains, such as shells and animal bones, ashes and charcoal, raked out of cooking fires and worn out broken implements that were buried or disposed of. These sites are sacred to local Iwi and have been designated as out-of-bounds. Tara Iti works with members of the Iwi to protect and honour these special sites. An example of a midden can be seen above.