The History of Tapu
There are two items in this section of the website. One is an original contribution from a former resident - CLICK HERE - and the other is based on a section of the book “These Hills are Tapu”, written by Deborah Jowitt ...
Prior to 1830 Tapu was known as Waipatukakahu which can be interpreted to mean.. “the stream where flax garments are beaten or washed “… Jowitt suggests that at that time it could have been a place of peace and domestic industry. However, that all change in 1830 when the resident Ngati Tamatera and a raiding party of Ngati Hei from Mercury Bay were involved in a massive conflict leaving the area labelled as a sacred place. Women and children were slaughtered while the men were fishing and hunting. The river was said to flow red with blood into the sea.
Tapu is situated on the western coast of the Coromandel Peninsula , mid way almost, between Thames and Coromandel. Life in Tapu revolves around the Hotel, School, General Store, and Camping Ground. The community also is served by a Volunteer fire station and Memorial Hall built in 1948- 49. There is a quiet settled feeling about Tapu which in a way belies its tragic past. People are drawn to Tapu because of the abundance of sea food, shell fish and leisurely pace of life.