Tapairu Urupa

Photo added by Clancy

Tapairu Urupa

Also known as Te Nakahi Parahi Urupa

3 Marae Street, Tapairu,
Waipawa, Central Hawke's Bay District, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
Memorials 53 added (2% photographed)

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Te Nakahi Parahi Urupa is also known as Tapairu Urupa, is located near Tapairu Marae. The urupa was transcribed in 1988 by Val Hawkins and Bronwyn Alidge with permission from Mr P Meha of Porangahau Road, Waipukuru.

The earliest burial date is for Makere Te Pikihuia in 901. This urupa contains a life size statue of Ada Erena Maihi who died in 1912 aged 21. Her parents sent a photo to Italy and commissioned this statue but because of WWI it took years to reach New Zealand.

The adjoining church known as Te Nakahi Parahi and 'Church of the Brazen Serpent', was built in Tapairu, near Waipawa, in 1900 in commemoration of Hori Ropiha (circa 1820-1898). Hori Ropiha rose to prominence in 1884 when he was chosen to travel to England with the Maori King, Tawhiao, who presented Queen Victoria with a petition requesting a separate Maori parliament, and an independent commission of inquiry into confiscations of Maori land.

Although Ropiha's initial aim was to dissuade Tawhiao from his adherence to the controversial Pai Marire religion, Hori Ropiha proved himself a vocal supporter of Maori land rights. On his return from England, he provided leadership for Maori in his work to prevent the loss of land through the Native Land Court system at a time when the rapidly increasing settler population in New Zealand and the alienation of Maori land had brought relations between Maori and Pakeha to crisis point. His stance won him respect and admiration among Maori. On his death in 1898 a tangi was held at Te Tapairu Marae, near Waipawa. At the tangi, the Marae elders offered to construct a chapel if they were afforded the honour of having his remains laid to rest on their land.

The request was granted and a timber chapel was erected next to Hori Ropiha's grave. It featured an imposing tower at one end and provided seating for up to 100 people. The Church was dedicated to St Philip in 1900 but the name was later changed to 'Te Nakahi Parahi' after the brass serpent of the Old Testament that gave hope to the people of Israel during their journey through the wilderness. The Church and Cemetery have remained a spiritual centre of the Anglican faith for over a century and continues to serve as a symbol of the leadership and faith Hori Ropiha offered to his people.


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GPS Coordinates: -39.95874, 176.5977

  • Added: 23 Sep 2017
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #2651696