Waikato New Zealand
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Mount Taupiri is a sacred mountain and now a burial ground for the Waikato iwi[tribe] of the Maori people. Originally Taupiri pa[village] was built on the summit of a spur of Taupiri mountain in the 1600s. When the chieftan Te Putu was an old man in the 1700s, he was treacherously killed at his home outside the pa. He was buried at the pa, which thus became tapu (sacred) and was abandoned to become an Urupa[cemetery]. Early European travellers in the area were obliged by Maori to cross to the other side of the Waikato River to avoid the sacred area.
The present-day burial ground is directly above State Highway 1 and the North Island Main Trunk railway line on a steep slope. Parking and access are difficult, because the cemetery is bounded by the busy State Highway and railway line, which lie largely on land that has been reclaimed from the Waikato River between the waterline and the foot of the slope. The deceased Maori kings and queen are buried in the place of sacred honor in the highest part of the cemetery, on the summit where Te Putu's pa stood.
The cemetery is owned and administered by the local Maori iwi[tribe].
NOTE: The local council maintain a smaller public cemetery nearby, Taupiri Cemetery.