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Ngake me Whataitai

Ngake me Whataitai

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This is a traditional story told in te reo Maori from the perspective of the Kahui Maunga people about Ngake and Whataitai.

This two taniwha inhabited Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington Harbour, long before the ancestral migrations. The story tells how the shape and landscape of Wellington, its harbour, and the Lower Hutt area came about because of the actions of Ngake and Whataitai.

Long ago, Te Whanganui a Tara was an enclosed lake, but Ngake forced his way out into the sea by battering through the clenched teeth of the fish of Maui to allow the fish to breathe. Whataitai was washed down the throat of the fish, causing it to cough, and Whataitai and three morsels flew out. The morsels became islands in the harbour, but Whataitai was stranded and grew weak and died, becoming part of the land around the harbour

Written by Ben Ngaia

Illustrated by Laya Mutton-Rogers

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