Introduction

This Māori legend tells the story of the two taniwha who created Wellington harbour.

The legend is retold by students of Avalon Intermediate School (Years 7 and 8) in Māori and English.

Te pūrākau o Whātaitai rāua ko Ngake

I neherā he roto te Whanganui-a-Tara me ngā taniwha e rua e noho ana ki roto,

ko Whātaitai rāua ko Ngake.

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Wellington harbour was once a lake with two taniwha living in it,

Whātaitai and Ngake.

Ko tētahi o ngā taniwha a Ngake, he tino pukuriri, he kakama.
Ko tērā atu taniwha a Whātaitai, he hāngū, ā, ka noho ia i roto i te wai pāpaku.
Kei te pīrangi rāua ki te puta atu i te roto.

_________________________________________

One of the taniwha, called Ngake, was really aggressive and moved a lot.
The other taniwha, called Whātaitai, was quiet and stayed in the shallow end of the lake.
Both of the taniwha wanted to get out of the lake.

Ka okeoke te hiku o Ngake kia watea ia,

ā, ka kaukau ia ki te moana.

______________________________

Ngake broke free by thrashing his tail

and swam out into the open sea.

Ka whai atu a Whātaitai

engari kua tau ia i roto i te tai mimiti.

Kua pakapaka ia, ā, ka mate.

___________________________________

Whātaitai decided to follow and tried to break out,

but he got stuck in the low tide.

He dried out there and died.

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