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Te Tauraka Waka o Māui

Te Tauraka Waka o Māui

A story from Poutini ki te Toka

This book tells us about Māui’s first landing at Maitahi in Poutini ki te Toka (South Westland).
A handmade model figure in a model canoe on the sea in front of forests and snowy mountains.

Māui sailed until he reached Maitahi. Kā Tiritiri o te Moana sparkled in the sunlight and the forests stared at him with a thousand eyes.

Handmade model sharks in the sea in front of model forests and snowy mountains, with flying birds and other creatures.

Two monster sharks called Mako-tipua and Mako-Horopekapeka patrolled the bay. Māeroero and patupaiarehe stared out from the forest. The birds and creatures of Poutini ki te Toka all came to see who was sailing into their world.

A handmade model shark with large teeth snapping at two figures in a canoe.

Mako-tipua snapped at Mahunui and tried to frighten Māui away.

A handmade model figure hitting a model shark.

Māui grabbed his toki, Tiheimauriora, and bashed Mako-tipua.

A handmade model figure in a canoe, holding a bird, with two sharks on the end of ropes.

He bashed Mako-horopekapeka too and tied both taniwha with magical rope.

A handmade model canoe with two white sails in the sea with two sharks in front.

Māui took them past the Maitahi rivermouth and bound them to the bluff at the south end of the bay. He called it Heretaniwha.

A handmade model figure in a canoe with a beach behind.

Now Māui could land safely at Maitahi. The beach glittered with gold and twinkled blue with Aotea.

Several model figures sitting down by a fire, with trees behind them.

There was so much food! Māui and the crew stayed at Maitahi for a long time.

A model figure in a canoe with a white sail on the water, with seagulls flying above.

Eventually, Māui wanted to discover more. So they packed up the waka and Mahunui sailed south once again.

Words to share with children 

Aotea a special blue stone from Maitahi
awa  river
Heretaniwha bluff at the south end of Maitahi
Kā Tiritiri o te Moana Southern Alps
kai  food
māeroero human-like creatures who live in the dense forests
Mahunui Māui’s voyaging waka
Maitahi  Bruce Bay
Mako-horopekapeka  supernatural shark
Mako-tipua supernatural shark
manu birds
Māui superhero of the Pacific
mauka/maunga mountain
patupaiarehe fairy people
Poutini ki te Toka South Westland
Tiheimauriora Māui's magic toki (adze)
toki adze


Te Tauraka Waka o Māui storyboard

Māui - He kōrero nō Poutini ki te Toka

  • 2.8 MB

Concepts and references


Hinepūnuiotoka and her daughters wind goddesses
karakia and tohunga ritual practice in all aspects of life
Rakinui, Ranginui sky father
Takaroa, Tangaroa god of the oceans
Tānemahuta god of the forests
Tūmatauenga god of war

Whakapapa (Ancestry)

Māori cultural origins are found in the Pacific but has evolved its own cultural identity shaped by our landscape.

Māui the Pan-Pacific superhero credited with many deeds that benefited mankind. He is of the land but nurtured by the winds and raised by the sea.

Te Ao o te Pūrākau me te Wāhi ki ngā Atua (Magical Realms)

Māeroero strange human-like beings that inhabited the forests in Poutini ki te Toka.
Patupaiarehe fair-skinned fairy people
Mako-horopekapeka, Mako-tipua supernatural tipua/taniwha sharks
Tiheimauriora Māui’s magic toki

Te Aotūroa (the Natural World)

Poutini ki te Toka
  • huge mountains
  • snow, ice, rain, wind
  • lush subtropical rainforests, southern rātā
  • wild oceans and coastline Tai Poutini
  • wildlife – South Island giant moa, piopio, pouākai (Haast Eagle), kākāpō

Wāhi (Place)

Poutini ki te Toka South Westland
Kā Tiritiri o te Moana Southern Alps
Heretaniwha the place where Māui tethered the tipua sharks
Rauemi tūhono