Story: Nelson places


This pou (carved post) outside the Nelson Lakes National Park visitor centre depicts the Māori chief and explorer Rākaihautū. Legend tells of Rākaihautū digging enormous holes in the South Island with his kō (digging stick). These then filled with water, forming lakes such as Rotoroa and Rotoiti. He then filled these with kai (food) – eels, freshwater mussels and waterfowl.

Using this item

Department of Conservation
Photograph by John Wotherspoon

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Nelson places - Nelson lakes', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 July 2024)

Story by Carl Walrond, updated 22 Apr 2015