This is the site of the koutu (royal palace) and paepae (the residence) of Makea Nui Ariki, former premier. The Para o Tane palace stands in the centre of the site, built as a single storey building in limestone in the 1840s. It was greatly damaged by a cyclone in 1942 but extensively restored in 1992/93. Here the British Union Jack was hoisted to warn off the French. The proclamation turning the Hervey Islands (now the southern islands) into a British Protectorate, and so took the annexation document, signed by Lord Ranfurly on 11 June 1901.
Thus is also where celebrations have taken place when distinguished overseas figures visit, such as New Zealand Prime Ministers and Governors-General, and members of the Royal Family.
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