Story: Canoe traditions

The Waipāoa River

Listen to this extract from the waiata (song) ‘Ka haramai a Pāoa’. It describes an incident following the arrival of the Horouta canoe which explains the origin of the Waipāoa River (pictured). When the Horouta was damaged on a reef, it was hauled ashore and the captain, Pāoa, went in search of timber to repair it. According to legend he found suitable timber at Maungahaumi in the centre of the East Coast, but as the rivers were too small to float the timber, he urinated in them, creating the Waiōeka, Waikohu, Waipāoa and Mōtū rivers.

Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero (Te Reo o te Pipiwharauroa/Tangata rite/Reference number MPT 2392).

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GNS Science
Reference: 12981/31
Photograph by Lloyd Homer

Permission of GNS Science must be obtained before any use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Rāwiri Taonui, 'Canoe traditions - Canoes of the East Coast', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/music/2358/the-waipaoa-river (accessed 22 November 2019)

Story by Rāwiri Taonui, published 8 Feb 2005