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Pakiwaitara: Tamatea Pōkai Whenua

A story about Tamatea Pōkai Whenua told and retold in many different ways by the tamariki at Kidsfirst Kindergartens Lyttelton.

  • Transcript

    Transcript Transcript

    Tamatea Pōkai Whenua sailed into Whakaraupō in his waka with his whānau and friends.

    They were looking for a place to rest and were enjoying the beautiful, calm, and sunny day.

    At the front of the waka was Tamatea’s toka ahi which was used to create fire at each of their stops.

    After some time the weather began to change. It started to drizzle and Tangaroa sent some big waves their way.

    Before long the rain got heavier and the waves got bigger.

    The waka rocked from side to side and the toka ahi fell out and into the moana.

    Tamatea and his whānau fought against the storm.

    Finally they were able to pull the waka up onto the beach at Rāpaki.

    But they were makariri and hungry. Kei te matekai ia.

    The days went by and Tamatea saw his whānau and friends becoming ill and unhappy.

    He decided something must be done.

    Tamatea climbed te maunga nui behind the beach.

    When he got to the top, he called to the atua to send him some fire, “Homai te ahi tapu!”

    The atua heard him and sent a fireball through the air.

    A little bit of fire fell off at Maruia Springs and a little bit dropped off at Hanmer Springs before landing on the beach at Rāpaki.

    Tamatea and his whānau were overjoyed.

    They were able to build a fire and keep warm. And they were able to cook their kai.

    From then on te maunga nui behind Rāpaki has been known as Te Poho o Tamatea.


This video is part of Tuia Mātauranga and local histories.