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Life in Early Poverty Bay

How Kupe Came to Discover New Zealand

How Kupe Came to Discover New Zealand.

In his work “Nga Tupuna Maori,” Sir George Grey tells of Kupe's famous voyage of discovery. It seems that Kupe and one Hoturapa one day went out to fish off their island home, Hawaiki. When the canoe gained the fishing-ground Kupe let his line down. “O, Hotu!” he said, “my line is foul at the bottom. Do dive and clear it.” Hoturapa said: “Let me have your line.” But Kupe answered: “Oh, no! You cannot get it loose unless you dive.” (Kupe wished to slay Hoturapa so that he might secure his wife.) Hoturapa dived and, when he was down, Kupe cut the cable of the canoe and pulled away. On reaching the surface Hoturapa cried out: “O, Kupe! Bring the canoe to me.” But Kupe did not so much as look round and pulled on. Hoturapa swam on till he became exhausted and was drowned. Kupe got on shore and took the wife of Hoturapa, but he was afraid lest evil should come to him and to escape vengeance, he and his party embarked in the canoe “Matahourua” and sailed to New Zealand. Kupe crossed over to the South Island and pulled page break page 15 over the sea of Raukawa and went on to the French Pass, where he met the octopus of Muturangi. When it heard the canoe coming, it rose to take it, but Kupe killed it! After four years' absence Kupe returned to Hawaiki.

Gathering of Old Native Chiefs at Awapuni Pa.

Gathering of Old Native Chiefs at Awapuni Pa.