With seven centuries of history behind us, virtually every square metre in Maketu village has a story to tell.
 
Many of these stories are in the land itself.  Over the centuries many Maoria pa (fortified villages) were located on the Maketu peninsula which held a commanding presence over the surrounding sea and land.  
 
Some sites are known only as a result of archeological surveys, while the earthworks of others, such as the pa sites on Okurie and Pukemarie, are clearly visible. 
 
The pa sites in Maketu figured prominently during the early period of European settlement.  In 1864 the British established a redoubt, Fort Colville, adjacent to Pukemarie Pa where they were aided by loyal Te Arawa warriors.
 
 
Maketu's history lies in ground of its many urupa (burial grounds).  The open fields of Okurie (the point of the Maketu peninsula) is the site of several urupa and therefore is wahi tapu (sacred ground).  Recent history is visible in the grounds of the Wharekahu Urupa in the graves on many Pakeha and Maori leaders including Philip Tapsell (aka Hans Felk) and Anne Chapman who was responsible for establishing Maketu's first school.  
 
Other stories are told by structures which have stood the test of time.  These include two of New Zealand's oldest churches, each with their unique narrative.
 
 
 
Construction of the St Thomas Anglican Church was delayed 10 years due to an argument between local chiefs, sometimes violent, over the ownership of the foundations stones. 
 
St Peter's Church is one of New Zealand's earliest Catholic missions and was constructed only with screws so that it could be dismantled and move... which fortunately never happened.
 
Many marae (meeting places) have been constructed in Maketu over the decades.  Today two marae serve the community.  The larger Whaukaue Marae, is the scene of many tangi (funerals), hui (meetings), and other social and community events.  It is also the scene of the annual ANZAC commemoration.
 
The Te Awhe Marae is on the site of the historic Maketu Pa which featured prominently in many 19th century photos and paintings.  This mare has recently been totally rebuilt.  The traditional carvings of the previous structure have been restored to their original condition.
 
There are many other stories associated with of a more recent era.  Many are still fresh in the memory of our elders.  The seafront once had a very busy wharf where sailing ships called to serve the expanding Bay of Plenty population.  The quiet commercial district of today is only a reflection of a vibrant past.  Even the lowly fish and chips shop has found its way into New Zealand's history having been imortalised as one of the county's most recognised paintings (by noted Kiwi artist, Robin White).