Manawatu is blessed with a wide range of landscapes, including excellent beaches to fish, swim and explore. Tangimoana is one of the Manawatu seaside settlements. It is a small village set in the sand dune landscape of the area, very close to the sea itself and the mouth of the Rangitikei River.
The name Tangimoana meaning “crying sea” is not the original name for this sleepy little coastal settlement. In earlier times Maori knew this beach, next to the Rangitikei River as Tawhirihoe meaning “ a firm grip on the paddle”. This name is said to date from the late 18th century when a Whanganui taua ( war party) called into the river mouth on their way to Cook Strait. A skirmish with local Maori resulted in the Whanganui people killing many with the paddles of their canoe.
There is evidence that many small Maori villages were dotted along this coast. Plenty of food could be gathered from the sea and from the swampy areas that were inland from here. Middens containing shells have been found at many sites in the coastal dunes and are evidence of the numerous communities that flourished here (see also Himatangi).
The beach was an important highway for Maori and at first, when European settlement began, the new arrivals walked up the beach, just as Maori had done for centuries. Later a coach service was established and at the river crossings accommodation houses and ferries were built. Scott’s Ferry, which took travellers across the Rangitikei River, was sited across the river from Tangimoana. Now a relic of a bygone era, the ferry was restored on the site in 1990 and can still be visited today.
Liaison Councillor - Matt Bell. Ph 06 323 3147
Chairperson of the Tangimoana Committee - Kent Greenwood. Ph 06 324 7118.