A beautiful maiden belonging to a tribe dwelling in a pa at Maunga-whau, the place now called Mount Eden, Auckland. The pa was visited by guests from Awhitu, at Manukau Harbour, and among these was a young chief named Ponga, a very handsome man. Ponga gained the heart of Puhi-huia, and contrived by stratagem to gain speech of her; then, declaring their attachment, they determined to elope. They cut the lashings which held together the top-sides to the canoes of the young lady's tribe, and then with the Awhitu visitors fled swiftly away.

They were coldly received at first by Punga's people, through fear of a sanguinary conflict being provoked with the tribe robbed of their beautiful maiden, but by dint of courage and constancy, Puhi-huia managed at length to win over to her side not only the friends of her husband, but her own indignant relatives.

The story is told in a touching and simple manner, and is (especially the second part) perhaps the most innocent and elevating of Māori folklore stories.



  • Grey, Sir George. (1855). Polynesian Mythology. Auckland: Brett, pp. 187 ff.
  • Tregear, Edward. (1891). Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary. Wellington: Government Printer, p. 368.
  • White, John. (1887). Ancient History of the Maori. 6 vols. Wellington: G. Didsbury, Government Printer, pp. 4:116, 140.

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