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Karetoki Whare Sturms Gully

Karetoki Whare Sturms Gully Napier Hill'The park on the Hill...'

Karetoki Whare is the place where once the whare (house) of Karetoki stood. Karetoki was a human who fell in love with the sea maiden Pānia.
From his house, Karetoki would descend to fetch water from a spring beneath Tūhinapō (within today’s Centennial Gardens). One day he saw Pānia resting in the middle of some harakeke (flax bushes). There and then Karetoki brought Pānia to his home where they lived as husband and wife.
But always, every morning before sunrise Pānia would return to the Ponaturi sea folk and every evening come back to her husband.


Council purchased the gully and its dense stand of mature trees in 1967. Sturm’s Gully was named after the earliest European settler in Hawke’s Bay, Frederick William Christian Sturm.

Born in Germany in 1811, he arrived at Ahuriri, Napier, on 2 August 1839 and made his home with the Maori living at Nukutaurua, Mahia (along the coast to the north of Napier).

Frederick was a nurseryman, as well as a botanist and a naturalist, supplying plants, trees, fruit and grapevines to the Hawke’s Bay district.

In 1865, Frederick moved his family to Sturm’s Gully in Napier, where he planted his nursery and opened a seed warehouse in Shakespeare Road. By this time Frederick was importing and exporting seeds, plants, rootstock and native ferns worldwide. In the early 1870s he moved his nursery business to a 20 acre block of land at Mangateretere on the
Napier/Havelock North road.

Some of the first orchards in Hawke’s Bay were established with trees from Frederick’s nursery. He also supplied plants to many of the gardens in the area with old homesteads – many of which still have trees and plants visible today. Frederick William Christian Sturm died on 23 May 1896.

The Ahuriri Hapū Deed of Settlement provided for six official geographic name changes including Sturms Gully to Karetoki Whare.

Mataruahou Bluff Hill Domain

Early plans of Napier show this area as a signal and lighthouse reserve. The army occupied the hilltop during World War 11. In 1957 control of the reserve passed over to the Council and the concrete gun emplacements became the foundation for the Lookout.

Much of Hawke's Bay can be seen from this vantage point, from the Ruahine Range to the hills beyond Wairoa, and the sweep of the bay from Mahia Peninsula to Cape Kidnappers.

Captain James Cook sailed along this coast and on 15 October 1769 he recorded "Bluff Head" in his ship's log. The British navigator and explorer named many local geographical features including Hawke Bay, Cape Kidnappers and Portland Island.

The Ahuriri Hapū Deed of Settlement provided for six official geographic name changes including Bluff Hill, Hospital Hill, Napier Hill and Scinde Island to Mataruahou.

Karetoki Whare and Mataruahou images

Karetoki Whare (Sturms Gully) Location Map

Karetoki Whare (Sturms Gully) Location Map


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