Story: Rivers

Inside Tamatea’s cave

Inside Tamatea’s cave

Tamatea’s cave, on the Whanganui River, commemorates the name of the early Māori explorer and captain of the Tākitimu canoe, Tamatea-pōkai-whenua. Tamatea explored upstream, leaving his servant to wait at the river’s mouth. Some say this gave rise to the river’s name: Whanganui translates as ‘long wait’.

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Photograph by David Young

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How to cite this page:

David Young, 'Rivers - Māori and rivers', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 17 October 2021)

Story by David Young, published 24 Sep 2007