Story: Tapa whenua – naming places

Motutapu Island

Motutapu Island

Motutapu Island is in Auckland Harbour. Islands named Motutapu (sacred island) are found throughout Polynesia, and generally stand at the entrance to main harbours. They were used by ocean travellers as safe resting places.

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How to cite this page:

Rāwiri Taonui, 'Tapa whenua – naming places - Traditions and place names from Polynesia', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 April 2024)

Story by Rāwiri Taonui, published 24 Nov 2008