The son of Maru-te-whare-aitu, and brother of Koiro. His was killed by the demigod Māui, but the cause of his death is different in various stories. In one version, it was because he killed two of Māui's children,1 and in another because he raped Māui's wife Hina. In a third version Hina was the daughter of Tūna and Repo,2 and the wife of Māui. Tūna violated his daughter whereupon Māui killed his father-in-law.

From the various parts of Tūna's body came monsters and certain plants: his tail became salt-water eels, and his head the fresh-water eels; his blood brought forth the pukapuka tree; his brains became the koarere tree; and the hairs of his head the aka creepers.

In a version of the destruction of Tuna the Eel god by Māui, the tail of Tuna became the Pukutūaro. This is the monster that dwells in the land of Aotearoa (New Zealand).



  1. White 1887, p. 2:84.
  2. Wohlers, J. F. H. (1875). "Mythology and Tradition of the Maori." New Zealand Institute, Transactions 7:3-53, p. 39.


  • Tregear, Edward. (1891). Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary. Wellington: Government Printer, p. 552.
  • White, John. (1887). Ancient History of the Maori. 6 vols. Wellington: G. Didsbury, Government Printer, pp. 2:76, 83-84.