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The Legend of Mauao
   
THE LEGEND OF MAUAO
Written and drawn by the pupils of Mt Maunganui Primary School.
This is the story of our mountain.
Long ago in the forests of Hautere there stood three mountains. The chief, Otanewainuku, the lovely Puwhenua, and the nameless one.
The nameless one was in love with Puwhenua, but she was in love with the mighty Otanewainuku. He had captured her heart with his tall majestic trees. The nameless one was heartbroken. He decided to drown himself in the sea.
He asked the Patuparaihe (bush fairies) to drag him down to the sea to drown. One night they tied ropes around him and dragged him from the forest. His tears left rivers behind him, and channels formed where he was dragged.
As he was dragged nearer to the sea the sky began to lighten. Then with a great jump up leapt Te Ra the sun. The Patu dropped their ropes and fled back to the darkness of the forest. Before they left the gave him a name. Mauao - caught by the dawn.
Many years later when people came to live here they gave him another sacred name. Maunganui (big mountain) To this day he proudly guards the entrance to our beautiful harbour and watches over his people. No longer nameless, forever proud.