Te Mata Park is part of the land associated with the ancestor Te Rehunga of Ngāti Ngarengare, a sub-tribe of Ngāti Kahungunu. The Park has a rich human history spanning several centuries. The upper parts of the Park in particular have a strong cultural importance to Māori. There is evidence of past settlement including pā sites and other earthworks. The Karaka groves in the upper Te Hau Valley area and Moa bones found on the slopes suggest intensive Māori settlement.
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