Two existing trees are being carved to flank each side of a refurbished memorial at the Gate Pa Historic Reserve.

The original memorial was built for the battle's centenary commemorations in 1964 and work was being carried out to enlarge the memorial and add other details to the historic reserve.

Pukehinahina Charitable Trust project director Buddy Mikaere said the tops of two trees on either side of the memorial were chopped and carvers were shaping the remainder of the trees on site.

Mr Mikaere said the carvings were already underway and were expected to be completed by the middle of next week.


The memorial's deck, known as a marae atea in Maori, would measure about 100sq m and was expected to be completed by the end of next week, Tauranga City Council project manager of city projects Allan Sizemore said.

Each side of the monument would measure 8.5m and it would reach 12m northwards with steps built for ease of access, Mr Sizemore said.

"The main thing was the marae atea, we've taken the wall down that used to sit there and are putting a new flag pole in to fly bigger and more flags."

The pole would be 12m tall and would be able to fly three flags at once. The existing pole was restored and installed at the Mission Cemetery.

The marae atea was designed with input from the Pukehinahina Trust and was funded by the council.

On April 1, the Bay of Plenty Times reported an archaeological dig was being carried out at the reserve before eight carved poles, known as pou, were installed.

The pou, the flag pole and the carvings flanking the memorial were funded by the Pukehinahina Trust.

Archaeologists did not find anything at the pou sites but at the flag pole site, some shrapnel and bits of glass were found.

Remnants of trenches dug by Maori were also found at this site and showed there were trenches in different locations than previously thought.

The artefacts would be stored and eventually be displayed in a museum.