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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 8 (November 2, 1936)

A Love-led Swim

A Love-led Swim.

The atahu was successfully cast. The young woman Te Hana was seized by an irresistible impulse of love for the chief who had secretly and magically set his seal of possession on her. She stole away from her home in the night, taking with her one companion, her servant maid. She travelled across the sandhills to the shore of Kaipara. Coming to Tauhara, she laid her garments on a flat rock (papa) at the foot of the pa there; that rock is still known as “Te Papa o Te Hana.” Then she and her companion entered the sea to swim across the harbour to Manu-kapua; that was Taurewa's home.

“Do not look behind you,” said Te Hana to her servant when they began the swim. But when they were far out in mid-harbour on that long swim, the young woman disobeyed, and looked behind at the shore they had left. For that act she was turned into stone; she instantly became a rock, and there that rock stands to this day out in the harbour.

Te Hana safely reached the shore and joyfully joined her lover who had so skilfully made her his own. There they lived together, defying all the Maori laws which guarded a puhi. Te Hana's people, of course, soon missed her, but they found only her clothing on the rock. They knew she had not been drowned but had swum the harbour to join her man.