Te Ara Wai Journeys, the path of memories, has led the community through the history of the Waipa region since its launch in early December.

It's about learning the stories of the area and knowing the paths that local forebears travelled and fought for.

As part of Heritage Month, Anne Blyth spoke at the Te Awamutu Library on Te Ara Wai Journeys, and an update on how it's going so far.

There are six destinations on the tour — Cambridge, Kakepuku, Karapiro, Nga Roto, Pirongia, and Rangiaowhia — O-Rakau.


"There are over 160 videos of all sorts of different people talking about all sorts of different events that happened in this district," said Anne.

"So it's a really rich resource if you're wanting to learn more."

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The self-directed tours have had online visits from many countries.

New Zealand makes up 80 per cent of site visits, USA six per cent, Australia two per cent, India and China one per cent.

To date there have been approximately 1970 website hits and 6700-page views.

The most popular is the Rangiaowhia — O-Rakau section while second is Kakepuku.

Although other areas in New Zealand have similar initiatives, Te Ara Wai Journeys is the only bilingual one with more content than any other. There are even specialised graphic novels for each of the six journey areas.

Pirongia is one of the six areas that Te Ara Wai Journeys explore. Photos / Jesse Wood
Pirongia is one of the six areas that Te Ara Wai Journeys explore. Photos / Jesse Wood

"Our hope is that Te Ara Wai journeys will play a key role in educating the community, students and visitors about the events that occurred in our district.

"We're hoping that it will be at the forefront of an act of positive social change, highlighting the significance of our local site and stories on a personal, national and global scale. To facilitate healing, understanding and reconciliation," said Anne.

Waipa District Council is also developing cycle ways. There's one proposed between Te Awamutu and Pirongia.

"When these go in they're hoping to tie the Te Ara Wai Journeys in as much as possible.

"It's just about having understanding of the events that occurred in these areas and what that might mean for us as a nation today."

The journeys are the first phase in the build-up to the opening of the Te Ara Wai, Waipa Discovery Centre in 2021-2022.