History

The Legend of Mangatawa

 

The Legend of Mangatawa

Long, long ago, a whale and her baby swam into the Tauranga Harbour. They swam through the entrance, past Mauao (Mt Maunganui) and Te Moutere o Matakana to Te Papa (Tauranga).

They decided to venture further into the harbour, so they swam up past Te Papa and Matapihi toward Maungatapu. Once there, they found the water getting shallower, so they decided to return to deeper water. However, instead of swimming back out through the entrance, they turned and headed into the Rangataua arm of the harbour between Matapihi and Maungatapu.

They struggled over the mudflats of Rangataua, trying to find a way back to the open sea. They knew which direction the ocean lay; they could hear the sound of the waves pounding on to the beach at Omanu and Papamoa. Tired and thirsty, they stopped at ‘Karikari’ on the eastern shore of Rangataua to drink from a spring. They did not know that the spring was magic and that drinking from the spring would turn them into stone. They began to drink. Suddenly all life departed from them.

They both became fixed with the mother whale gazing northward out to the sea and the baby whale nestled beside her. The father whale came in search of his family. He saw that they had turned to stone. He too, drank from the spring and became fixed behind the mother and baby whale, and is known as ‘Kopukairoa’. The mother whale, ‘Mangatawa’, lies at the southern end of Rangataua Bay with the baby whale, ‘Hikurangi’, nestled beside her.

There is a spring at the base of ‘Mangatawa’. Sometimes the water flowing from it is quite white, and it is said to be the milk of the mother whale or ‘Te Waiu o te tohora’. Mangatawa rests there as a guardian of the people of Tauranga Moana and Te Arawa.

Te Purakau o Mangatawa

Kua roa, kua roa, kua eke te tohorā me tana tamaiti ki te whanga o Tauranga. I huri haere ratau ki te tomokanga, i mua atu i a Mauao (Mt Maunganui) me Te Moutere o Matakana ki Te Papa (Tauranga).

I whakatau ratau ki te haere ki roto i te whanga, no reira ka huri i a Te Papa raua ko Matapihi ki Maungatapu. Ka tae ana ki reira, ka kitea te kaha o te wai, no reira ka whakatau ratou kia hoki ki roto i te wai hohonu. Heoi, kaua ki te kauhoe ki waho ka uru ki te tomokanga, ka huri, ka ahu ki roto ki te ringa o Rangataua o te whanga i waenga o Matapihi me Maungatapu.

I tohetohe ratou ki nga repo o Rangataua, e ngana ana ki te kimi huarahi kia hoki ki te moana tuwhera. I mohio ratou he aha te aronga o te moana; I rongohia e koe nga haruru o te ngaru e totika ana ki te one i Omanu me Papamoa. E ruha ana, e matewai ana, ka tu ratou ki 'Karikari' kei te taha rawhiti o Rangataua ki te inu mai i tetahi puna puna. Kaore ratou i mohio ko te puna he mahi makutu me te inu i te puna ka huri ratou hei kohatu. Kua akamata ratou i te inu. Na whakarere tonu atu te ora katoa i a ratou.

I noho tahi raua me te tohorā a te whaea e tiro ana ki te raki ki te tai, kei te taha o te tamaiti te tohorā. Ko te tohorā te matua i haere mai ki te rapu i tona whanau. Ka kite ia kua huri ratou hei kohatu. Ko ia ano i inu i te puna, ka tau ki muri i te whaea me te tohorā, ka kiia hoki ko 'Kopukairoa'. Ko te tohorā te whaea, ko 'Mangatawa', kei te pito tonga o Rangataua Bay me te tohorā tamaiti, 'Hikurangi', kei te taha o ia.

He puna kei te pito o 'Mangatawa'. I etahi wa ka tino ma te wai e rere ana, ka kiia nei he miraka te whaea tohorā ko 'Te Waiu o te tohora' ranei. Ka noho a Mangatawa ki reira hei kaitiaki o nga tangata o Tauranga Moana me Te Arawa.

 

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