Originally named Te Motu tapu a Taikehu Meaning "The sacred island of Taikehu"
Motutapu is a low lying island to the northeast of Rangitoto Island and on the coast, evidence has been found in the surface of footprints in volcanic ash that would of come from the eruption of Rangitoto Island.
The island has been extensively farm during its occupation of over 150 years. During the second world war the island was an important coastal defence position and today the military bunkers and tunnels are of interest to the visitor. The island has had human occupation for a total of over 500 years and was named originally by the Tainui tohunga Taikehu as a symbol of his mana.
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