This is the story of how the volcanoes of Auckland were created according to Māori pūrākau (stories).
This film was created by students (aged 10–11 years) from Tekau ma Toru 2018, Long Bay Primary School, for the 2018 Outlook for Someday sustainability film awards where it was awarded the prize for best story.
The student film-makers acknowledge resources supplied by the Auckland War Memorial Museum, from which they based their script.
This is our pūrākau on how Auckland volcanoes were created.
Long ago, what we now call Auckland was flat. There were no volcanoes around like there is today. No humans lived here – only the patupaiarehe and the tūrehu.
These creatures are what we call fairies – not little sparkly things with wings, they were big, tall and very strong. The patupaiarehe and the tūrehu did not like each other. The tribes lived on opposite sides of Auckland – patupaiarehe in the west and tūrehu in the south.
The young patupaiarehe loved to play a game called hopukina (dark run). They played this on dark moonless nights. They would sneak out of their houses to run to the tūrehu as quickly as they could and return with a treasure that they stole.
In the patupaiarehe tribe lived a boy named Hui. He was very well liked, very handsome and was important to the tribe because he was the chief’s son.
One night after playing hopukina, Hui returned without any treasure and everyone laughed at him.
The next time they played hopukina, he was determined to find the most precious treasure that the tūrehu had. And so, the next time that dark run took place, Hui did not return. Everyone was worried about him.
Days later, Hui returned with a treasure. Her name was Wairere, and she was extremely important to the tūrehu because she was the daughter of the chief – their most treasured taonga.
When the tūrehu found out she was with Hui, they were riri (angry) – so riri they all gathered the next morning and declared pakanga against the patupaiarehe.
They gathered a war party of their strongest warriors and set off across the Tāmaki Plain.
The tohunga (high priest) of Waitākere watched them coming from the south. When the warriors were close, the tohunga took the magic hidden deep in the Earth and cast spells on them. Rocks and Earth magic were flung across the whenua (land). Several of the people fell and couldn’t continue, but many still kept on marching.
The priest dug deeper and deeper into the Earth, and suddenly a huge deep crack opened up across Auckland.
When the ground cracked open, Mataaho, guardian of earthquakes and volcanoes, was awoken from his sleep. He was riri that people were fighting above him and that his home had been reached by the tohunga.
Kō Mataaho ahau.
[I am Mataaho.]
Kō wai ō pāhua?
[Who are these thieves?]
Tana hia pai ō tūrangawaewae!
[How dare you come to my place!]
Whakatū kō pēhea ki ay!
[Stay out of my place!]
Te hei Rangitoto.
[Behold the volcano Rangitoto.]
Kō ira ō Pukekawa.
[Fear the volcano of the Auckland Domain.]
Te tūwiri ō Maungawhau.
[Tremble at Mount Eden.]
E māharo i roto Pupuke.
[Admire Lake Pupuke.]
Tautapa a rongo takitaki.
[Give the word, let there be peace.]
Tihei mauri ora.
[Let there be life.]
Mataaho flung Earth magic and large boulders into the air, and he melted them before they touched the ground.
He created several volcanic eruptions. Everyone fled for their lives. The volcanoes are a barrier between the two tribes, and they never koreroed again.
In the chaos of the battle, Hui and Wairere ran away together in love, never to be seen again.
The Science Learning Hub would like to acknowledge the work of the student film-makers and teacher Aaron Joyes at Long Bay Primary School who have allowed us to share this film.