By Ngaia, BenIllustrated by Mutton-Rogers, Laya
This is a traditional story told in te reo Maori from the perspective of the Kahui Maunga
people about Ngake and Whataitai. These two taniwha inhabited Te Whanganui-a-Tara,
Wellington Harbour, long before the ancestral migrations. The story tells how the shape and
landscape... of Wellington, its harbour and the Lower Hutt area came about because of the
actions of Ngake and Whataitai. Long ago, Te Whanganui a Tara was an enclosed lake, but
Ngake forced his way out into the sea by battering through the clenched teeth of the fish of
Maui to allow the fish to breathe. Whataitai was washed down the throat of the fish, causing
it to cough, and Whataitai and three morsels flew out. The morsels became islands in the
harbour, but Whataitai was stranded and grew weak and died, becoming part of the land
around the harbourRead more
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Ben Ngaia (Te Ati Awa) is Executive Director Development at Te Wananga o Aotearoa, overseeing the design and development of new educational programmes. Before joining the wananga, he worked in government, education and iwi development. He is also a teacher and historian of Maori language and tikanga in his hapu and iwi.
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