The second wife of Rangi-pōtiki, one of the props of heaven. She gave birth to the following children: Rehua and his sister Ha-kina, Tāne, Pāia, Wehi-nui-a-mamau, Tū-taka-hinahina, Te-aki, Whati-ua, Tū, Rongo, Rū, U-ako, Hua, Puna, Whe-rei, Uru, Kakaua, Wai-o-nuku, Wai-o-rangi, Ai-o-hou-taketake, Ka-mau-ki-waho, Ka-mau-ki-tawhito-o-te-rangi, Ngai, Ngairoa, Kai-pehu, Kai-aki-akina, Tapatapa-i-waho, Manu-waero-rua, Toi, Raura, Kitenga, Wha-tonga, Apa, Rongo-mai, Taha-titi, Rua-tapu, Pipi, Te-ara-tu-ma-hengi, Rangi-roa, Rongo-mai, Pou-pa, Te-ra-ki-whakamaru, Hou-nuku, Hou-rangi, Hou-a-tea, Tū-nuku, Ka-hutia-te-rangi, Rua-tapu, and Paikea. Then came Rongo, Tangaroa, Tahu, Punga and Here, Hua and Ari, Nukumera and Rongo-ma-rae-roa, Mārere-o-tonga and Takataka-pūtea, and Tū-mata-uenga and Tū-potiki.
In other legends Papa-tū-a-nuku was the wife of Tangaroa. She went to live with Rangi when Tangaroa had gone away with the placenta of their child. On his return, he found that she had been living with Rangi for some time and had given birth to Rehua and Tāne and the others.
Rangi and Tangaroa proceeded to the beach, where they fought with spears (mythically the Ocean and Sky claiming and warring for Earth). Rangi was pierced by Tangaroa with a huata (a barbed spear) through both thighs, but he was not killed. Rangi's offspring by Papa-tū-a-nuku after this were a weak or sickly family. Their names were: Whanau-tu-oi, Whanau-takoto, Tāne-kupapa-eo, Tāne-tuturi, Tāne-pepeki, Te-oi, Upoko-nui, Upoko-roa, Upoko-whaka-ahu, Tāne-i-te-waiora.
- Shortland, Edward. (1882). Maori Religion and Mythology. London: Longmans Green, pp. 17, 18.
- Tregear, Edward. (1891). Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary. Wellington: Government Printer, p. 315.
- White, John. (1887). Ancient History of the Maori. 6 vols. Wellington: G. Didsbury, Government Printer, pp. 1:21-23.