Story: Ngā waewae tapu – Māori exploration

Kupe carving and tukutuku panel

Kupe carving and tukutuku panel

The great explorer Kupe named a number of features in Wellington Harbour – including Matiu (Somes Island) and Mākaro (Ward Island), after his daughters. Kupe is on the right side of this panel, with Matiu and Mākaro at the bottom. On the left is the demigod Māui, and below him, the two taniwha (supernatural creatures) of Wellington Harbour, Ngake and Whātaitai.

Using this item

Museum of Wellington City and Sea

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Rāwiri Taonui, 'Ngā waewae tapu – Māori exploration - Wairarapa and Wellington', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/14149/kupe-carving-and-tukutuku-panel (accessed 6 April 2020)

Story by Rāwiri Taonui, published 24 Sep 2007