Brief History of Waitara
The commonly accepted meaning of the name Waitara is ‘mountain stream’, though Maori legend also states that it was originally Whai-tara ‘path of the dart’. In 1867 the settlement was named Raleigh, after Sir Walter Raleigh. It reverted to its former name Waitara in 1904.
Waitara was the site of the outbreak of the Taranaki Land Wars on 17 March 1860 which ran for 12 months before a ceasefire was negotiated. But in 1863 war resumed and in 1865 the Pekapeka block was confiscated. In 1884 the Government returned 103,000 hectares of the 526,000 hectares confiscated. In November 1999 the NZ Government signed an agreement with Te Atiawa to settle its claims.