Iwi/hapu:

“Ko Mauao te Maunga,
ko Tauranga te Moana,
ko Tupaea te Tangata”
Mauao is the mountain,
Tauranga is the ocean,
Tupaea is the ancestor.”

Whakatauki/Pepeha:

“Ko Mauao te Maunga,
ko Tauranga te Moana,
ko Tupaea te Tangata”
Mauao is the mountain,
Tauranga is the ocean,
Tupaea is the ancestor.”

Significant Sites:

There are many cultural sites on Mauao. The most prominent being the pā site on the summit. Other nearby significant areas include –

  • Kārewa
  • Moturiki (Leisure Island)
  • Motuōtau (Rabbit Island)
  • Hopukiore
  • Waikōrire (Pilot Bay)
  • Te Awanui
  • and the surrounding mahinga mātaitai (seafood gathering areas).

Matauranga Maori

Taonga species:

  • Kororā
  • Pipi
  • Whai
  • Pāua
  • Koura
  • Kutai

Eco systems:

  • Mahinga mātaitai
  • Waipuna
  • Ngāwhā
  • Te Ākau
  • Ākau Tokatoka

Western Science

Local species:

  • Eudyptula minor (Kororā)
  • Paphies australis (pipi)
  • Paphies subtriangulata (kahitua)

Eco systems:

  • Seafood gathering beds (Mahinga Mātaitai)
  • Rocky shore
  • Coastal forest

Environmental Impacts:

The oil & debris were a threat to:

  • Kaimoana
  • Wildlife, bird life, marine life & environment
  • Wellbeing of whānau & hapu
  • Archaeological sites
  • Pā and waahi tapū
  • Water quality and oil in water column

Cultural Impacts:

  • Manaakitanga – mana diminished because Tangata Whenua were unable to harvest Kaimoana.
  • Rangatiratanga – integration of Mātauranga Māori into mainstream practices compromised our cultural Integrity.

The origin of Mauao is steeped in the history of Tauranga Moana. At the southern entrance to Tauranga Moana is Mauao, standing alone, and dominating the surrounding landscape. This mountain originally resided near Otānewainuku to the south. Mauao was desperately in love with a neighbouring mountain named Pūwhenua who was clothed in all of the fine greens of the ferns, shrubs and trees of the forest of Tanemahuta. Unfortunately Pūwhenua was pledged to Otānewainuku.

In his despair, he decided to drown himself at sea, Te Moananui a Kiwa. In order to do this, he called on the help of the patupaiarehe who lived in the forests of Hautere and had magical powers. His patupaiarehe friends used their magic to braid the ropes that would haul him from the mountains to the sea. As they pulled the ropes they chanted the following;

E hika tū ake

Ki runga rā whitiki taua

Hei tama tū

Uea ki te uru

Kumea ki te tonga

Hiki nuku

Hiki rangi

I arā rā

Ka ngaru e, ka ngaru e

Toia ki te hau marangai

Kia whakarongo taku kiri

Te kikini a te rehutai

O Ngā ngaru whatiwhati

E haruru mai nei

Wī, wī wī

Wā wā wā

A! hā! hā!

Horahia ō mata ki a Meremere Tūahiahi

Hei taki i te ara ki a Tangaroa

He atua hāo i te tini ki te pō

E kokoia e ara e

 

Arise you who slumber

Prepare ourselves

Prove our manhood

Heave to the west

Heave to the south

Move heaven and earth

It awakens,

It loosens, shudders.

Haul toward the stormy east wind

That the skin may feel

The tang of salt spray

Of the turbulent thundering waves

Wī wī wī

Wā wā wā

A! hā! hā!

Cast your eyes heavenward

Toward Venus, the evening star,

To light the path

To the ocean of Tangaroa,

The god who lures many into his embrace,

Into eternal darkness.

Alas, the birds have awakened

Dawn has come.

The patupaiarehe chanted as they hauled the nameless one from his place among the hills from Waoku. They gauged out the valley where the Waimapu River now flows named for the tears of sorrow that the nameless one shed on his way to Moananui a Kiwa. They followed the harbour channel past Hairini, past Maungatapu and Matapihi and past Te Papa. As they heaved him to the edge of the great ocean of Kiwa it was already close to daybreak. As the first rays of Tamanui Te Ra lit up the summit of the nameless one, he was fixed into that place. The patupaiarehe were people of the night and hence they flew back to the shady depths of the forests and ravines of Hautere. Their magical powers could no longer assist their friend in his endeavour.

The patupaiarehe gave this mountain the name Mauao, meaning caught by the dawn, or lit up by the first rays of sunrise. As the mountain marking the entrance of Tauranga Moana, he eventually achieved greater mana than his rival Otanewainuku. He is the symbol of the tribes of Tauranga Moana.

“Ko Mauao te maunga, ko Tauranga te moana”