Story: Ngāti Porou

Carving of Paikea, Whāngārā

Paikea, the ancestor who came to New Zealand on the back of a whale, is depicted in the carving on top of Whitirēia meeting house at Whāngārā, near Gisborne. Niki Caro’s feature film Whale rider, which has won international awards, was based on the Paikea story and filmed at Whāngārā. In this clip from the movie, Paikea (Keisha Castle-Hughes) practises her ancestral waiata, which talks of Whitirēia and the Paikea carving.

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Film by Niki Caro

© 2002 South Pacific Pictures Ltd./ ApolloMedia GmbH & Co. 5. Filmproduktion KG

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How to cite this page:

Tamati Muturangi Reedy, 'Ngāti Porou - Ancestors', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 5 October 2023)

Story by Tamati Muturangi Reedy, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 1 Mar 2017