Te Uruhi accomdation house

Horowhenua Historical Society Inc. collection.

This sketch by William Swainson is described on the drawing itself as “Waikanae 1849”. In the book Horowhenua County and its People, this same illustration had the caption “William Jenkins kept this bush-licence accommodation house at Te Uruhi, near Waikanae.”

It’s quite likely the actual location is Bluegum Road in Paraparaumu Beach.  This leads off Ocean Road to take you to the airport, but is about a kilometre from where Guru’s Gateway will be sited, if that goes ahead.

Roger Childs says that in 1824, Ngāti Toa lived here for a few months before moving to Kapiti Island. In the early 1830s the Puketapu hapu of Te Āti Awa built a pa on a large sand dune on this site, protected by swamp on three sides and a ditch to the north. Flax, food and other items were traded with whalers and early Pakeha traders.

“But it was also the name for a pa at the mouth of the Waikanae River. I’m not sure, but I imagine it was on the Waikanae side where Weggery Drive reaches its high point before dropping to Queens Road. There are commanding views of Kapiti and areas to the south from the houses located on the crest of the climb on the left.”