A great priestess and magician, a granddaughter of Tāwhaki, and the sister of Rata. When Rata was unable to use the tree he had felled, designing it for a canoe (he not having repeated the proper invocation, the wood-fairies set the tree up again when felled), his sister told him to sharpen his axe on her sacred body, which, being done, had the desired effect. Hence her name, "The-maiden-standing-as-a-grindstone," or, as the Southern version gives it, "The maiden whose back was a whetstone" (Kawe, e whakairi ana ki runga ki te tua iwi o tou tupuna, ko Hinetuaoaka). The sharpening invocation: Orooro te toki na Hine-tuahoanga. Hine came to New Zealand in Rata's canoe.

As a personification of the grindstone, the Sandstone Maid is a goddess of stone-grinders. She is also mentioned as the mother of Rata,1 and as a daughter of Tāne and Hine-maunga,2 or of Rangahua.3



  1. Best 1924, p. 165.
  2. ibid., p. 176.
  3. ibid., p. 163.


  • Best, Elsdon. (1924). The Maori. Wellington: Harry H. Tombs, p. 167.
  • Shortland, Edward. (1856). Traditions and Superstitions of the New Zealanders. London: Longmans Green, pp. 5, 8, 165.
  • Tregear, Edward. (1891). Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary. Wellington: Government Printer, p. 73.
  • White, John. (1887). Ancient History of the Maori. 6 vols. Wellington: G. Didsbury, Government Printer, p. 1:69.
  • Wohlers, J. F. H. (1875). "Mythology and Tradition of the Maori." New Zealand Institute, Transactions 7:3-53, p. 46.

This article incorporates text from Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary (1891) by Edward Tregear, which is in the public domain.