A pa used as a City of Refuge. It was situated at Mohoaonui, on the Upper Waikato River, and was named in honor of Hine, the daughter of Maniopoto. Its sacredness gave rise to several proverbs, as "The Courtyard of Hine will never be trod by a war-party" (Ko te Marae o Hine, e kore e pikitia e te patu); "Do not intrude on the Courtyard of Hine" (E kei hewa ki te Marae o Hine), etc.

In Hawaii, sacred places of refuge were an established institution; they were called puhonua, and those who sought shelter there, whatever their crime, were safe under the protection of the presiding deity.

The Samoans also had certain villages set apart as sanctuaries of refuge, these were called Tapua'iga, and their ordinary inhabitants did not engage in war, but gave shelter to defeated combatants.

See also marae.



  • Tregear, Edward. (1891). Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary. Wellington: Government Printer, p. 213.

This article incorporates text from Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary (1891) by Edward Tregear, which is in the public domain.