A tāniwha, or water-monster, lying in mid-ocean, supposed to cause the tides by swallowing or emitting the sea: Ki te Parata nui o te moana, ki te Taniwha nui o te moana. A proverbial expression for a broken sea is Te waha o Parata.

The whirlpool Te Parata was encountered by the Arawa canoe on the way from Hawaiki to New Zealand and was almost destroyed by it. It is also known as Taepaepatangi-o-te-rangi.

Parata, in many of the smaller Polynesian groups, is a general name for any ravenous shark.



  • Grey, Sir George. (1855). Polynesian Mythology. Auckland: Brett, pp. 29, 74.
  • Tregear, Edward. (1891). Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary. Wellington: Government Printer, pp. 320, 440.
  • White, John. (1885). "Maori Customs and Superstitions." In T. W. Gudgeon, History and Doings of the Maoris from 1820 to 1840. Auckland: Brett, pp. 97-225, p. 119.
  • White, John. (1887). Ancient History of the Maori. 6 vols. Wellington: G. Didsbury, Government Printer, p. 2:28.