Motiti Island
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Motiti Island

Motiti Island
Motiti Island, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, 1 April 2008.jpg
An aerial view of Motiti Island.
Motiti Island is located in New Zealand
Motiti Island
Motiti Island
LocationBay of Plenty
Coordinates37°37?33?S 176°25?20?E / 37.6257°S 176.4221°E / -37.6257; 176.4221
Total islands1
Major islands1
Area10 km2 (3.9 sq mi)
Highest elevation57 m (187 ft)
Population27[1] (2006)
Pop. density2.7/km2 (7/sq mi)
Ethnic groupsMaori

Motiti Island (M?ori: M?t?t?) is located off the Bay of Plenty coast of New Zealand's North Island. It is 21 kilometres (13 mi) north-east of Tauranga and 9.4 kilometres (5.8 mi) north-east of Papamoa. There were 18 homes occupied by 27 people on the island in the 2006 census.[1]


A relatively flat island covering some 10 km2 (3.9 sq mi), Motiti Island is composed mainly of Miocene volcanic rocks, overlaid with more recent sediments in the south.[2] The principal activity on the island is agriculture, with a developing avocado plantation.[3] Most residents and visitors travel to the island by air.

There is no public infrastructure (e.g. no public wharf) and the whole island is in private ownership. Access is difficult and expensive.[4]Bay of Plenty Regional Council has regional council responsibility for Motiti Island.[5] No territorial authority council is responsible for it - therefore residents pay no rates and there are no council services. Day-to-day administration is by the Department of Internal Affairs.[4]

History and culture

Colonial history

On 2 November 1769, during his first voyage, Captain Cook sailed close inshore to Motiti Island, where he reported the most extensive complex of fortified villages he had yet seen. In his journal he refers to it as the "Flat Island".[6]

Recent history

On 9 October 2011, the 45' launch M/V Excalibur ran aground offshore in bad weather. The crew of six was rescued, but the ship was considered a total loss.[7]

In 2011 the MV Rena ran aground on Astrolabe Reef. Oil from the resulting spill, as well as shipping containers and their contents, reached the shoreline of the island.[8]

In October 2013, Motiti Island residents rejected an offer by the MV Rena's owners to start a development project for the island, in return for being able to leave the Rena wreckage where it lay.[9] The plan included:

  • Building a landing point for barges.
  • Creating a one-lane, all-weather road to the airstrip.
  • Installing a new cellphone tower to improve communications.
  • Running an underground cable from the mainland to improve power supply.
  • Putting a permanent beacon on Astrolabe Reef.
  • Building a Rena memorial from the ship's anchor.


The island has two marae, belonging to the Ng?ti Awa hap? of Ng?ti Maumoana, Ng?ti Makerewai and Ng?ti Takahanga: Te Hinga o te Ra or Te Karioi Marae and Te Hinga o te Ra meeting house; and Te Rua Kopiha Marae and Tamatea ki te Huatahi meeting house.[10][11]

In October 2020, the Government committed $4,871,246 from the Provincial Growth Fund to upgrade a group of 12 marae, including Te Rua Kopiha Marae. The funding was expected to create create 23 jobs.[12]


Sunair operates from Motiti Island to Tauranga with Cessna 172 aircraft.

See also


  1. ^ a b QuickStats About Motiti Island, 2006 Census, Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 29 October 2010.
  2. ^ Motiti Island, An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand (1966). Retrieved 29 October 2010.
  3. ^ "Motiti Island: Population 40, just how they like it". The New Zealand Herald. 6 January 2012. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ a b Vance, Andrea (25 November 2018). "Motiti". Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ "Administration of Motiti Island". Department of Internal Affairs. Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ Hare, McLintock, Alexander; Wellington., Thomas Ludovic Grant-Taylor, M.SC., New Zealand Geological Survey, Lower Hutt and Bernard John Foster, M.A., Research Officer, Department of Internal Affairs; Taonga, New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage Te Manatu. "MOTITI ISLAND". Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ "The Law Offices of Countryman & McDaniel". Retrieved 2018.
  8. ^ "Containers, oil to spill from 'dying' Rena". New Zealand: 17 October 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Te K?hui M?ngai directory". Te Puni K?kiri.
  11. ^ "M?ori Maps". Te Potiki National Trust.
  12. ^ "Marae Announcements" (Excel). Provincial Growth Fund. 9 October 2020.

Coordinates: 37°37?33?S 176°25?20?E / 37.6257°S 176.4221°E / -37.6257; 176.4221

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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