Ngake and Whātaitai, two legendary water monsters or taniwha, are depicted in this bird’s-eye view of the Wellington region. Ngake (right) is making the channel to the Cook Strait. Whātaitai is curling up to form the isthmus between the former island of Motukairangi and the western side of Wellington Harbour. It is said that Tangi te keo (now called Mt Victoria) was named after Whātaitai’s soul, which left his body, flew as a bird to the top of the hill, and proceeded to mourn (tangi).
Using this item
Chamblett Design Group
Artwork by Lee Watt, 1998
This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.