Matukutureia (or McLaughlin’s Mountain), Clendon, Auckland

Matukutūreia, or McLaughlin’s Hill, is one of many extinct volcanoes in the Auckland Volcanic Field. It has a peak 73 metres above sea level, and was the site of a Maori pa.

History

Matukutūreia, or McLaughlin's Hill
The eastern side of Matukutūreia, with the (now removed) water tank on the summit.

The scoria cone was originally crescent-shaped and featured Māori terraces and kumara pits, before extensive quarrying reduced it to a pyramid-shaped mound big enough to support the summit water tank for Papatoetoe.

A small part of the summit and the eastern side of the cone were left un-quarried, plus a large area of lava flows to the south of the cone remains intact. These remaining parts have recently been transferred to Department of Conservation Management, primarily because of the high heritage values of the Matukuturua Stonefields gardens.

The name “McLaughlin’s Hill” comes from the neighbouring homestead of the McLaughlin family, the original location of Puhinui House before it was relocated to the Howick Historic Village in 1982. The nearby Puhinui Reserve, Puhinui Road and McLaughlins Road are all named for the historic connections of the McLaughlin family who settled the area in 1845.

Matukutūreia and nearby Wiri Mountain are collectively known as Matukurua (also Ngā Matukurua).

From July to September 2010, the water tank was removed from the top of Matukutūreia, as part of an agreement when the land was handed over to the Dept of conservation.

Local Legends

There has been much mystery and urban myth handed down through the generations about this oddly situated suburban hill. Reports of shadowy spirits and mysterious lights seen hovering around the perimeter and overhead the mountain at night. Other theories surround the ideas that the hill may in fact be an ancient pyramid or burial tomb.

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