Story: Ngā waewae tapu – Māori exploration

Statue of Kupe

Statue of Kupe

This statue of Kupe, on the Wellington waterfront, shows the legendary explorer with his wife, Hine Te Apārangi, and his tohunga (priest), Pekahourangi. The country’s Māori name, Aotearoa, came when his wife saw a long white cloud and realised that land was nearby.

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Photograph by Simon Nathan

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How to cite this page:

Rāwiri Taonui, 'Ngā waewae tapu – Māori exploration - Coastal explorers', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 6 December 2023)

Story by Rāwiri Taonui, published 24 Sep 2007