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JM Barker (Hapupu) National Historic Reserve

JM Barker (Hapupu) National Historic Reserve


Hapupu Rd, Chatham Islands

One of only two national historic reserves in New Zealand, Hapupu protects Moriori rakau momori (tree carvings).

The reserve was established to protect Moriori rakau momori (tree carvings). It is one of only two national historic reserves in New Zealand. This designation reflects the particular importance of Hapupu both culturally and spiritually for the Moriori of Rekohu (Chatham Islands).

The rakau momori here are among the few visible remaining signs of pre-contact Moriori culture. The carvings depict Moriori karapuna (ancestors) and symbols of the natural world, such as patiki (flounder).

The reserve was fenced in 1980 to protect the tree carvings from grazing stock. More recently forest either side of the reserve has been fenced and protected by the Barker Brothers covenant.

There is a 10-minute bush walk through part of the reserve. The forest comprises mature kopi forest with a dense understorey of mahoe saplings. Rakau momori have been carved on the trunks of many kopi trees, some of which can be seen on the bush walk.

Image: Royston Vasey at

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