In very ancient times, the mountains Maunga-pohatu, Kakarā-mea and Pu-tauaki migrated from the south — from Te Matau- a-Maui (Cape Kidnappers) — and came northwards to the places where we now see them. Maunga-pohatu was the wife of Kakarā-mea (Rainbow Hill at Wai-o-Tapu). They disagreed as to which direction they should travel in. The former said, "Let us go to the east." "Ehē!" cried the husband, "to the south." "Not so," replied the wife, "my desire is the east." "My own way shall I go," said Kakarā-mea. "So soon as we have partaken of food I shall depart with our offspring to the north, there to find a new home." But their children had already departed for the north, and were followed by their mother, by Maunga-pohatu. Those children were Tapanaua (a large rock in the Tauranga Stream at Te Wai-iti), Mou-tohora (an island off Whakatane), Tokatapu, Hinarae and Toka-a-Houmea (rocks at Whakatane). When overtaken by daylight the party were unable to travel further, hence they stand where they are now.



  • Best, Eldson. (1899). "Notes on Maori Mythology." Journal of the Polynesian Society 8:93-121, p. 118.

This article incorporates text from Notes on Maori Mythology (1899) by Elsdon Best, which is in the public domain.