Ripapa island, (also known locally as Ripa island) just off the shore of Lyttelton Harbour (Whakaraupo) has played many roles in the history of New Zealand or Aotearoa. The island initially played a key role in an internal struggle for the south island Ngāi Tahu tribe in the early 19th Century. In the late 19th century the island was used as a quarantine station for ships arriving from Britain, though 1880 saw the use of the quarantine buildings as a prison, notably for members of the Parihaka Māori settlement in Taranaki during its passive resistance campaign against the surveying and selling of its land by the government.
The site of Ripapa island was perfect for building a pā (a fortification built by the Māori) and in the early 19th Century, Chief Taununu of the Ngai Tahu tribe built such a pā on the island. In the 1820s Chief Taununu faced a fierce fight with another Ngai Tahu group, in what was to be known as the Kai Huanga feud. Kai Huanga, meaning "eat relatives", refers (from [www.wikipedia.org](http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ripapa_Island).