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.
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Department of Conservation
Photograph by John Wotherspoon
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