indigenous philosophies for team and leadership development
The Head of Maui's Fish
Wellington’s very earliest name is Te Upoko o te Ika a Maui or otherwise known as ‘the head of Maui's fish’. This goes back to the Māori story of how Aotearoa New Zealand was created.
According to Māori the legendary navigator Maui hooked a giant fish that, when pulled to the surface, turned into the land form now known as the North Island or Te Ika Maui.
Wellington got its name Te Ika a Maui beacause various geographical features are said to look like and represent the head of the fish.
Kupe discovers Wellington
Kupe was a very famous Polynesian explorer. He is credited with discovering Wellington harbour as early as the 10th century. He was responsible for naming several places on the Wellington peninsula including Matiu or Somes Island and Makaro - Ward Island.
It was at the tip of the North Island that Kupe first landed and later went on to visit Wellington and many other parts of New Zealand.
Over the next thousand years, several iwi / tribes became settled in the Wellington area.
Tara’s Great Harbour
Te Whanganui-a-Tara or ‘the great harbour of Tara’ is yet another Māori name for Wellington.
Tara was the son of Polynesian migrant Whatonga. It is said that he discovered Wellington around about the 12th century, where he inspired his father’s people to move south to ‘the nostrils of the island’.
The Ngai Tara or the descendants of Tara, were the first iwi / tribe to settle in Wellington, eventually they were to merge with other tribes, and since the early 19th century other tribal groups have migrated to the Wellington region.
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