The redoubts at Te Porere contain the earthworks of a Maori fortification built by the prophet and warrior Te Kooti and is the site of the last major engagement of the New Zealand Wars in October 1869. The redoubts are an example of the Māori adaptation of classic British military construction techniques.
The government forces attacked the rifle pit and lower redoubt before proceeding towards the upper redoubt. The upper redoubt was taken relatively quickly but Te Kooti managed to avoid capture or death by escaping into the nearby bush. The battle of Te Porere resulted in 41 casualties - 37 of Te Kooti's supporters were killed, whilst the government forces only suffered four losses.
Just beyond the northern boundary of Tongariro National Park, the site is both a Maori and a historic reserve and has been administered by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust since 1959.