Story: Whenua – how the land was shaped

Kapiti Island

Kapiti Island

According to legend, when the ancestor Kupe arrived in New Zealand there was only one island. He created the North and South islands by standing on the ground and pushing his feet apart. Kapiti Island is named after this event: its name in full is Te Kapiti Waewae (legs spread apart).

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Reference: CN42462
Photograph by Lloyd Homer

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How to cite this page:

Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, 'Whenua – how the land was shaped - Kupe', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 27 September 2023)

Story by Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, published 12 Jun 2006