Maketu is a small town on the Bay of Plenty Coast in New Zealand.[1]

St Peters Catholic Church, Maketu
Coordinates: 37°45′34″S 176°27′6″E
Country New Zealand
RegionBay of Plenty
Territorial authorityWestern Bay of Plenty
WardTe Puke

Maketu is located in the Western Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. Maketu has an estuary from which the Kaituna River used to flow. It is also adjacent to Newdicks Beach located on the south eastern side of Okurei Point. Maketu's population dropped from 1176 in 2006 to 1047 in 2013.[2]

History and culture

Maketu is rich in ancestral Maori culture, specifically the Te Arawa tribe. Maketu was the landing site of the Te Arawa canoe. The Chief who led the voyage of the Te Arawa waka from Hawaiki to New Zealand/Aotearoa was known as Tametekapua. Many Maori settled in Maketu, but some continued their journey inland, using the Kaituna River as far as Rotorua. Maketu is named after an ancient kumara (sweet potato) pit in Hawaiki, the Maori ancestral homeland.[1]

Maketu has a predominantly Māori population, although in recent years there has been an influx of many cultures to Maketu.

In 2011, Maketu was one of many areas along the Bay of Plenty Coast affected by the grounding of the MV Rena and the subsequent oil spill.[3]

Maketu has two marae. Te Awhe o te Rangi Marae and meeting house are a meeting place for the Ngāti Mākino hapū of Ngāti Mākino and Ngāti Te Awhe, and the Ngāti Pikiao hapū of Ngāti Pikiao. Whakaue or Tapiti Marae and its Whakaue Kaipapa meeting house are affiliated with the Ngāti Whakaue hapū of Ngāti Whakaue ki Maketū.[4][5]


  1. New Zealand Tourism GUide: Bay of Plenty - Maketu
  2. Sunlive: More than 6000 in Pyes Pa
  3. "Public notice – beach access restricted". Maritime New Zealand. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
  4. "Te Kāhui Māngai directory". Te Puni Kōkiri.
  5. "Māori Maps". Te Potiki National Trust.

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