Story: Te mana o te wāhine – Māori women

Motuopuhi Island

Motuopuhi Island

Motuopuhi Island sits in Lake Rotoaira, north-west of Mt Tongariro. The island was the site of a of the chief Wharerangi, who reluctantly protected Ngāti Toa leader Te Rauparaha. Te Rangikoaea, the wife of Wharerangi, stood over the kūmara (sweet potato) pit where Te Rauparaha was hiding, thus ritually shielding him from those using spiritual means to find him. The incident became the basis for Te Rauparaha's famed 'Ka mate' haka. Motuopuhi was formerly a peninsula, which became an island when the lake level was raised by the Tongariro power scheme.

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How to cite this page:

Rawinia Higgins rāua ko Paul Meredith, 'Te mana o te wāhine – Māori women - Tapu and peacemaking', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/31558/motuopuhi-island (accessed 26 May 2019)

Story by Rawinia Higgins rāua ko Paul Meredith, published 5 May 2011, updated 1 Jun 2017