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Te whakatuwheratanga o Te Tumu Herenga Waka : 6 Tihema 1986, Poneke, Te Whare Wananga o Wikitoria


page 14


Haunui-a-nanaia, also known as Hau, is the ancestor who named many rivers and places from Whanganui up to the Whanganui-a-Tara.

Hau came from Hawaiki on the Kurahaupo with his father Popoto, one of the many rangatira on board. Prior to landing at Nukutaurua, Mahia, Hau was thrown overboard because of his fractious behavior. He managed to get ashore but moved on to Patea with the people of Aotea. Through time Hau became a prominent figure of that area.

According to one version it is said that two men abducted Hau's daughter and it was in the search for her that Hau named the places and rivers along the south-west coast of Te-lka-a-Maui. (In other versions it is Hau's wife that was abducted). When Hau caught the two men he turned them into birds — a kiwi and a weka and these are depicted on the poupou beneath Haunui. When he began his search he had to cross a large river which he named "Whanganui"; he then splashed through murky waters — thus we have the name of the "Whangaehu River". Further south he felled a tree so as to cross a river hence Turakina" and later he strode along boundlessly — Tikei . At "Manawatu" he saw a heart-stopping sight. Hearing a buzzing noise, Hau named the place there "Hokio". He named a stream for himself, "Ohau". He spoke with his staff at "Otaki", then went on to where the sand meets the water at "Waimeha". Hau stared in awe at "Waikanae"; sighed with relief at "Wairaka", and later glanced quickly about him at what became known as the "Wairarapa". Clouds lifting became Te pae o Whaitiri".

Haunui-a-Nanaia is an ancestor of many tribes, including: Ngai Tahu, Ngati Ira, Ngai Te Whatu-iapiti, Ngati Apa, Rangitane, and the Whanganui tribes.