On Sunday after walking the Port of Auckland’s Red Fence Heritage Walk from the Voyager Maritime Museum to the Ports of Auckland Building I continued around the waterfront towards Bastion Point and Mission Bay.
Bastion Point is a piece of land in Orakei, Auckland, which overlooks the Waitemata Harbour.
Bastion Point’s name in Māori is Takaparawhau. In 1886, the Crown took ownership of 13 acres of land at Bastion Point from Māori landowners for the purpose of defence. In 1941, when it was decided that Bastion Point was no longer needed for defence it was gifted to the Auckland City Council for use as a reserve rather than being returned to its traditional Māori owners.
In 1976, the Crown announced it planned to develop Bastion Point for housing. The Orakei Māori Action Committee organised a peaceful occupation of remaining Crown owned land. This occupation lasted for 507 days and ended on the 25th May 1978, when 800 New Zealand Police and Army personnel were used to forcibly remove the occupiers. 222 protestors were arrested.
Bastion Point is the site of the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial, a mausoleum and memorial gardens for the first Labour Prime Minister of New Zealand. The mausoleum is surrounded by a memorial reserve, which includes a sunken garden and a reflective pool marked off by colourful flowerbeds and hedges.
Construction began on the memorial in June 1941 and it was officially opened in March 1943.
There is vehicle access from Hapimana Street off Tamaki Drive. The gates close at 8:30pm and open again at 6:30am. Bastion Point lookout is stop number 1 on the Red Circle route for the Auckland Hop On, Hop Off Explorer bus. There is also an uphill pedestrian path from Mission Bay (it is quite steep though.)