The Legend of Mauao

The Legend of Mauao

22 April 2020

There was once a hill with no name who lived on the edge of the Hautere forest. This nameless was a Pononga (slave) to the great chiefly maunga, Otanewainuku.

To the southwest was the shapely form of Puwhenua, a beautiful hill, clothed in all the fine greens of the ferns and shrubs from the forest of Tane (Atua of the forests).

The nameless one was desperately in love with Puwhenua.  However, her heart already belonged to Otanewainuku. 

There seemed like no hope for the lowly maunga.  In despair the nameless one decided to end it all by drowning himself in the Pacific Ocean, Te Moananui a Kiwa.

Calling on the patupaiarehe, the people with magical powers who dwelled in the forests of Hautere, the Pononga asked them to plait the ropes with their magic and then haul him down towards the moana.

Chanting their waiata and playing their Pūtōrino they dragged him towards the moana. They followed the awa past Maungatapu, Matapihi and past Te Papa to the water's edge.

The sun rose fixing the nameless one to that place. Being people of the night, the patupaiarehe fled back to the shady depths of the Hautere forests, before the light of the rā descended upon them.

The patupaiarehe gave the name Mauao to this maunga which marks the entrance of Tauranga Moana. This means caught by the morning rā.


Faires -Patupaiarehe

Sun - Rā

Ocean – Moana

River – Awa

Flute - Pūtōrino

Mountain- Maunga

God - Atua

God of the forest - Tane