A man-devouring bird of gigantic size, supposed to inhabit the South Island. One of these birds was a source of terror to the fairies called Nuku-mai-tore, until Pungarehu smashed its beak with his stone axe and killed it.

The poua of the Chatham Islands is probably an allied mythical bird.

The pouakai was probably the Haast's eagle although others say it is the ancient and correct name of the moa.



  • Tregear, Edward. (1891). Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary. Wellington: Government Printer, p. 359.
  • White, John. (1887). Ancient History of the Maori. 6 vols. Wellington: G. Didsbury, Government Printer, p. 2:33.

This article incorporates text from Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary (1891) by Edward Tregear, which is in the public domain.