Huia: Te Keo is the name of the bird spirit of Whataitai, the taniwha.
Map: Based on ‘The Pioneers of Port Nicholson’ by David McGill
Ngake & Whataitai:
The harbour of Te Whanganui-a-Tara was created by two taniwha, Whataitai and Ngake. Whataitai lived in the north of the lake and Ngake lived south.
Ngake could hear waters of Raukawa Moana pounding, decided to escape the lake to get to it. He went to the north of the lake to build up his speed for the attempt, and headed off rapidly towards the south.
Ngake crashed into the rocks at Seatoun and headed out into the Strait. Whataitai saw this and tried to follow Ngake. Whataitai was stranded. He stayed there for many generations before being lifted high onto the land by an earthquake.
The soul of Whataitai left him in the form of a bird, Te Keo. It flew above the harbour and wept for the taniwha, whose body was lifted high the hills close to the harbour entrance.
Mount Victoria is known as Tangi Te Keo, “The weeping of Te Keo”, and the suburb on the hills below is named Hataitai.