It is difficult to think of Pātea without also recalling the outstanding Pātea Maori Club and its chart topping single “Poi-E” which swept to popularity in 1982 and is still arguably one of the country’s favourite contemporary Māori songs.
Pātea has a rich Māori and European history which is well documented in the South Taranaki District Museum (Aotea Utanganui) in the main street of the township. The replica of the Aotea canoe at the western entrance to the town commemorates the settlement of Taranaki by Turi and his hapu, who travelled from Hawaiiki to Kawhia and then overland to Pātea.
Today Pātea has retained a strong community focus and enjoys many services. Nearby Carlyle Beach and Mana Bay are popular for their excellent fishing, boating and surfing and visitors to the area will enjoy beautiful, wild, rugged scenery that is typical of the South Taranaki coast. The beach and river offer a boat ramp, scenic lookouts and walkways. The shopping centre has supermarkets and a butcher, cafes, dairies and hotels and includes a well resourced medical centre, pharmacy, public swimming pool and trust owned rest home.