Pourangahua was a man of great mana who travelled great distances across the sea to fetch food for his infant son. Pourangahua landed at Parinuiterā and found there the delectable kūmara. After collecting two baskets of kūmara he was anxious to return home but his canoe was gone so Pourangahua sought out a chief named Tāne who led him to ‘Te Manunui a Ruakapanga’ (The Great Bird of Ruakapanga). “Here is your canoe of the skies. Be gentle with your ancestor who bears you so bravely”, he said. He was warned not to let the bird land when he had arrived home but to jump off. When the time came Pourangahua refused to let the bird go; he plucked one of its feathers and threw it into the sea, which grew into the first kahikatea tree in Aotearoa.
When Tāne’s mount never returned he assumed it dead and so sent Taukata, a priest of great power to find and destroy he who had killed Te Manunui.
Kowhaiwhai (Maori rafter panel design): Kūmara hou – New Kumara