Story: Waikato tribes

Tūheitia

Tūheitia

Tūheitia was the father of Māhanga, the ancestor of Ngāti Māhanga, an important Tainui and Waikato tribe. Although renowned for his hospitality, Tūheitia was killed through trickery while out at sea. By supernatural means, Tūheitia became a taniwha (spiritual being) and came to reside in the Waipā River. In this carving, situated outside the Novotel Tainui hotel in Hamilton, Tūheitia is depicted with a fish-like tail, to signify his transformation into a taniwha.

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Private collection
Photograph by Roberta McKelvey

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How to cite this page:

Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, 'Waikato tribes - Ancestors', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/1726/tuheitia (accessed 22 March 2019)

Story by Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 3 Mar 2017