The lizard was always regarded with awe and dread by the New Zealanders. There was a large order of reptile or lizard gods, apart from the lesser malignant spirits (atua kikokiko), which could assume the lizard form, causing sickness and death by gnawing the human vitals. See mokoroa.
- Tregear, Edward. (1891). Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary. Wellington: Government Printer, pp. 249-250.
- White, John. (1887). Ancient History of the Maori. 6 vols. Wellington: G. Didsbury, Government Printer, 1:Appendix.