New lookout to be erected for Turitea Pa’s historic viewing site
Work has started on installing a two-storey cantilevered lookout platform for Turitea Pa, along the He Ara Kotahi pathway. Turitea Pa formed part of a wider settlement known as Te Kuripaka, which included Te Motu o Poutoa to the east, and Marae-Tarata to the west. A tall viewing platform once stood on the same site when it was a Rangita¯ne o Manawatu¯ pa. The lookout gave Rangita¯ne people an unobstructed view of who was coming up or down the river. Te Kuripaka dates to the 15th century, and the use of Turitea Pa as a lookout dates back as recently as the 1850s. Unfortunately, there are no remnants of the old platform remaining. For the past two years Palmerston North City Council and Rangita¯ne have been working on designs for the new lookout. “We wanted to ensure the lookout continued to give great views, was respectful to the history of the pa site and, due to being on a cliff face, was also safe,” council parks and reserves manager Kathy Dever-Tod says. People visiting the lookout will be welcomed with six carved pou. At night, the handrails will be lit by solar energy. The lookout is fully accessible on the lower platform. The upper platform needs to be accessed by a metal staircase. The lookout is encased with strengthened glass and macrocarpa. “Getting more people into our river space will ensure we have more people looking after our awa and helping restore its mauri alongside Rangita¯ne,” Dever-Tod says. “Getting to work on a culturally significant site like Turitea Pa is a privilege for us, and we cannot wait to see the public reaction when this exciting project is complete.” Construction will have little impact on the pathway users and the lookout should be completed early next year.