Fort Galatea

Fort Galatea, just eight kms down Kopuriki Rd from Murupara is a remnant of the rich history of the area.

Back in the 1860's when well known Maori activist Te Kooti Arikirangi was busy inciting the Hauhau (a tribe belonging Ngati Tuhoe) against pakeha, the fort was constructed in May 1869 under the auspices of Colonel George Whitmore and was the biggest of several that were stationed in the area in order to send troops in to fight Te Kooti's forces.

The drive was relatively successful in that just over a year later, it was deemed to no longer be necessary. However, the site was not abandoned; a native school was opened in 1883, which was then closed because of the Mount Tarawera eruption in 1886.

It was reopened in 1877, but was fraught with problems and finally closed in the early 20th century. This can be read about in the very interesting archival excerpt link provided below. While largely overgrown today, remnants of the fort can still be seen.

A planned centenary celebration of the fort was derailed when an ex-school teacher set fire to the buildings just prior to the event. The link for more information about the native school is here, starting on page 435.

See the Wikipedia page on the history of Fort Galatea.