A tāniwha who lived near Otuhira, in a rua (cave or hole) near the top of a ridge where his remains now lie. Once, when the people were about to clear the bush at this place, the heavens suddenly became overcast, and a great tempest arose, together with a terrible hailstorm. The tohunga (priest) perceived that some great infringement of the tapu had taken place, and became aware that this was the home of the great monster Para-hia. He took some food and uttering his most powerful incantations, he went into the cave, and placed the food on the floor as a peace-offering to placate the monster. By the aid of his powerful prayers, the tohunga succeeded in quieting the anger of Para-hia, and the storm suddenly ceased.

From that day on it was customary of the tohunga to offer the first fruits of all food, especially taro, and the first birds of the season to Para-hia to propitiate him.

A similar taniwha is said to have resided at the base of the cliff called Haumea-nui, on Junction Road, near Nga-korako, Purangi, Taranaki.



  • Skinner, W. H. (1897). "Legend of Para-hia." Journal of the Polynesian Society 6:156-157.