This statue at the mouth of the Whakatāne River commemorates the bravery of Wairaka. When the Mataatua canoe arrived from Hawaiki, the ancestral homeland of Māori, the crew left it unmoored. It was in danger of being swept away on the tide, but Wairaka and other women on board saved it. The statue was donated by former cabinet minister Sir William Sullivan, a local resident, in 1964, and sculpted by W. R. Allen of Auckland.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Shirley Williams
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