In 2006, the two hapu, Ngati Kuta and Patukeha, were approached to support an application by the Bay of Islands Canterbury Charitable Trust to purchase and sink the old warship, HMNZS Canterbury.

HMNZS Canterbury

A precondition of hapu involvement, and agreement, was that hapu were to be part of the Trust and that the ship should be an artificial reef at Maunganui Bay (Deep Water Cove) to help build the fish stocks. The ship was scuttled at nearby Deep Water Cove in November 2007.

HMNZS Canterbury Scuttling HMNZS Canterbury Scuttling

Te Rawhiti Enterprises Ltd purchased the ship

Te Rawhiti Enterprises, a Limited Liability Company, (TREL) was formed to manage the business of the wreck and the artificial reef and to identify and pursue employment opportunities, at this time, contracts for working on pest control. Seven men are currently trained and employed.

As well as supporting the rahui (fishing ban) in Maunganui Bay, conservation on land to enhance the native flora and fauna means that pest eradication work are a high priority. TREL has been working with  various agencies to pick up some of these contracts was a key strategy. Some of these agencies are:

  • Northland Regional Council,
  • Department of Conservation,
  • Ministry of Social Development,
  • Mininstry of Fisheries,
  • TRAION, and
  • Te Puna Kokiri
  • Fish Forever

Rawhiti is a key component in the tourist economy in the North

Until now the hapu have never been considered a serious contender and yet they have a lot to offer. Their lands, knowledge of the waterways and nature and their cultural heritage will be offered to the tourist market. Working with agencies, other communities and industry stakeholders is a key strategy for them. It is indeed exciting times for all of Te Rawhiti community.

In their own words, “We are opening for business”

Helen Mountain Harte,


Te Rawhiti Enterprises Ltd