Story: Ngā waewae tapu – Māori exploration

Kupe carving and tukutuku panel

Kupe carving and tukutuku panel

The great explorer Kupe named a number of features in Wellington Harbour – including Matiu (Somes Island) and Mākaro (Ward Island), after his daughters. Kupe is on the right side of this panel, with Matiu and Mākaro at the bottom. On the left is the demigod Māui, and below him, the two taniwha (supernatural creatures) of Wellington Harbour, Ngake and Whātaitai.

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Museum of Wellington City and Sea

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How to cite this page:

Rāwiri Taonui, 'Ngā waewae tapu – Māori exploration - Wairarapa and Wellington', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 27 September 2023)

Story by Rāwiri Taonui, published 24 Sep 2007