Mount Taranaki (Māori: Taranaki Maunga; also known as Mount Egmont) is a dormant stratovolcano in the Taranaki region on the west coast of New Zealand's North Island. At 2,518 metres (8,261 ft), it is the second highest mountain in the North Island, after Mount Ruapehu. It has a secondary cone, Fanthams Peak (Māori: Panitahi), 1,966 metres (6,450 ft), on its south side.
In 1865 the mountain was confiscated from Māori by the New Zealand Government under the powers of the New Zealand Settlements Act 1863, ostensibly as a means of establishing and maintaining peace amid the Second Taranaki War. The legislation was framed with the intention of seizing and dividing up the land of Māori "in rebellion" and providing it as farmland for military settlers. In 1839 the mountain had been climbed by the Swiss trained doctor and naturalist Ernst Dieffenbach. During his initial ascent, he identified the fast-flowing streams as being well suited to water driven mills. Dieffenbach was employed by the New Zealand Company to advise on the potential of land he explored in the North Island in 1839–40.[not specific enough to verify]
The mountain was returned to the people of Taranaki in 1978 by means of the Mount Egmont Vesting Act 1978, which vested it to the Taranaki Maori Trust Board. By means of the same Act, it was immediately passed back to the Government as a gift to the nation. The Waitangi Tribunal, in its 1996 report, Kaupapa Tuatahi, observed: "We are unaware of the evidence that the hapū agreed to this arrangement. Many who made submissions to us were adamant that most knew nothing of it." It cited a submission that suggested the political climate of 1975 was such that the board felt it was necessary to perform a gesture of goodwill designed to create a more favourable environment within which a monetary settlement could be negotiated.
Because of its resemblance to Mount Fuji, Taranaki provided the backdrop for the 2003 film The Last Samurai.
In 2017, a record of understanding was signed between Taranaki iwi and the New Zealand government that will see the mountain become a legal personality. It is the third geographic feature in the country to be granted a legal personality, after Te Urewera and Whanganui River.
On 2 December 2019, an agreement between the crown and Ngā Iwi o Taranaki was announced that the mountain was to only be referred to as Taranaki Maunga. The national park will be renamed from Egmont National Park to Te Papakura o Taranaki. The name change has not yet been ratified by the New Zealand Geographic Board.