The firstborn son of Tāwhaki and his wife Hine-piripiri (or Maikuku-makaka,1 the sister of Hāpai). His name (signifying "the long piece of firewood") was given to him because his mother carried a whole tree as a log for the fire when Tāwhaki was lying wounded and helpless, after the attack made on him by his brothers-in-law.2

Wahieroa took Kura as wife, and by her had a son named Rata, who became a very famous hero. Wahieroa was slain treacherously by Mātuku-takotako, some supernatural being who dwelt beneath the earth. The Ponaturi fairies carried off the bones of Wahieroa, and these were afterwards recovered by Rata, who slew the fairies,3 and also killed Mātuku. By another legend, the wife of Wahieroa is called Matoka-rau-tāwhiri, and it is said that Wahieroa was killed in trying to get some tui birds for his wife (who had a longing of pregnancy for them), and in trying to get the birds invaded Mātuku's preserves.4

Also mentioned as a personification of comets.5



  1. White, John. (1887). Ancient History of the Maori. 6 vols. Wellington: G, Disbury, pp. 1:29, 3:2.
  2. Grey, Sir George. (1855). Polynesian Mythology. London: John Murray, p. 37.
  3. ibid., p. 67.
  4. White 1887, p. 68.
  5. Best, Elsdon. (1924). The Maori. Wellington, New Zealand: Harry H. Tombs, p. 175.


  • Tregear, Edward. (1891). Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary. Wellington: Government Printer, pp. 587-588.

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