The Polynesian explorer Kupe is said to have returned on his canoe Matawhaorua to Hawaiki from Hokianga – hence the original name Te Hokianga-a-Kupe (the returning place of Kupe). In preparation for the return voyage his people made an earth oven on the harbour shore, but the food was cold, and Kupe cursed and banished them. This place was named Kohukohu (curse). Kupe left behind his taniwha, Ārai-te-uru, in the form of a reef. He also hurled his son Tuputupuwhenua into a spring, where he became a protective taniwha. Kupe named other rocks and places: Ngā Kurī-a-Kupe (Kupe’s dog), Pori Here (genealogical ties) and Ākiha (a taniwha at the mouth of the harbour).
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