Ngārarahuarau – for the teacher

Ngārarahuarau – for the teacher

A taniwha story from Mohua

An overview

Ngārarahuarau is a pūrākau from the Mohua region and it explains some of the unique geological features of the region. In particular, the origins of a network of tomo and caves throughout Pikikirunga (commonly known as Takaka Hill) and the kōkōwai stone found on the beaches in Te Tai Tapu (Golden Bay).

The resource comprises an illustrated picture book and three short videos.

The book

The book is written by Keri Tākao and recounts the story of Ngārarahuarau, the tipua of Wainui. He lives in a cave on the beach and snatches unsuspecting humans as they pass by. The story tells of his undoing by a woman called Rūru and his legacy in the landscape. Robin Slow painted the illustrations, which are rich in symbolism and visual language.

The videos

The videos support the kōrero. Ngārarahuarau is a simple, animated retelling of the story using the text and illustrations from the book. Tohuwhenua combines narrative and imagery in a journey through the landscape left in Ngārarahuarau’s wake. Kōkōwai follows the stone from its origins in the landscape to its processing into paint.

Māori History

The resource has been designed for use in junior classrooms to support the teaching and learning of Māori History. No doubt it will have wider appeal.

The resource offers opportunities to:

  • make connections with iwi and the landscape
  • explore how Māori make sense of the natural world
  • create connections with local iwi
  • learn about technology Māori used to make resources and tools
  • learn vocabulary specific to Mohua and its landscape
  • investigate stories of taniwha in your own rohe
  • investigate local landforms and their whakapapa
  • appreciate Māori art and symbolism.
  • create links to other learning areas Science and Social Sciences.

Links to the learning areas


Planet Earth and Beyond – level 2

Earth systems

Students will explore and describe natural features and resources.

Interacting systems

Students will describe how natural features are changed and resources affected by natural events and human actions               

Planet Earth and Beyond – level 3

Earth systems

Students will appreciate that water, air, rocks and soil, and life forms make up our planet and recognise that these are also Earth’s resources.

Interacting systems

Students will investigate the water cycle and its effect on climate, landforms, and life.

Social Sciences

Level 2

Students will gain knowledge, skills, and experience to:

  • Understand how cultural practices reflect and express people’s customs, traditions, and values.
  • Understand how places influence people and people influence places.
Level 3

Students will gain knowledge, skills and experience to:

  • Understand how people view and use places differently.
  • Understand how people remember and record the past in different ways.

Down the Back of the Chair

Further copies of this title are available from Down the Back of the Chair, quoting this item numbers – 712053

Free phone: 0800 660 662

Fax: 0800 660 663

Email: orders@thechair.minedu.govt.nz

Rauemi tūhono