Ka ngaro, ka ngaro
Ka ea, ka ea
Te toka tūmoana ā Tirikawa

It disappears and reappears
The steadfast rock of Tirikawa

A whakataukī of resilience to take with us on a daily basis. Like the waves crashing upon Tirikawa, the waves of life crash upon you to break your body, your mind, your spirit. Be like Tirikawa - Stand steadfast and keep rising above.

See “Te Toka ā Tirikawa” in Pūrākau



Horahia ōu mata ki a Meremeretūahiahi
Hei taki i te ara ki a Tangaroa

Cast your eyes upon Meremeretūahiahi
Who paves the path to Tangaroa

An excerpt from Te Karakia o Mauao training one to stay focused on the goal. On Mauao’s journey to where he rests now, the turbulent waters produced by the advancements of great mountain caused the Patupaiarehe to often veer slightly off track. They used the Venus evening star, Meremeretūahiahi, as their guiding light to lead them out to the great expanse of Tangaroa.

See “Te Karakia o Mauao” in Waiata



Te Toka ā Tirikawa

Apanui Ringamutu often felt like a miserable failure as his men had been beaten so many times in battles. Depressed, their mana was very low, and they had a low opinion of themselves. During another battle retreat, Apanui called out to the tohunga of the enemy tribe Hikawera, who was watching them.

'Aue! Why am I always such a failure as a warrior chief?” asked Apanui.

'That which you seek,” said the tohunga, 'will be found by following the setting sun.”

On returning home to his pa, Apanui thought about what the tohunga had said. Finally, he decided that somewhere in the Western Bay of Plenty, in Tauranga Moana, there was someone who could give him the power to succeed, and to really become a toa.

Meanwhile in the pa at Matuaiwi in Tauranga Moana, a tohunga called Kinomoerua was in his kumara patch chanting a karakia to protect the crop from the kumara grub.

He owned a pet tui that could talk, and it followed him wherever he went. The tui called out to him.

'Koka ē! Tahia te marae – Hey Dad, better get the marae ready.”

This was how the tui warned Kinomoerua that visitors were approaching and he needed to get ready to greet them and offer hospitality.

Kinomoerua went back to his Matuaiwi pa and welcomed Apanui.

After speeches, Apanui told Kinomoerua why he had travelled there. Could Kinomoerua tell him how to become a successful toa?

Kinomoerua said nothing, but led his visitor to look out over the harbour towards Rangiwaea and Matakana. As they looked, a bird swooped down out of the sky and dived into the water. It was a kawau, a shag.

Soon the bird reappeared above the water. It opened its mouth and ate the wind. It had failed to catch the fish it had been after. Several times it opened its mouth and achieved nothing.

'See that shag?” asked Kinomoerua. 'Don't you perform like that, Apanui, it gets nothing, and like you, it gets nowhere.”

The pair paddled across the harbour to Maunganui, and beached their canoe alongside Mauao where the rocks guard the entrance to the harbour. They sat on the slope and looked down on the rock called Te Toka a Tirikawa, or North Rock, as it is often called now.

The waves crashed and broke over the rock in succession, over and over again. Each time the rock reappeared as the foaming waves poured off it.

'See that rock?” asked Kinomoerua. 'Look on Te Toka a Tirikawa and conduct yourself as it does. Ka ngaro ka ngaro, ka ea ka ea Te Toka a Tirikawa.”

Apanui was greatly encouraged and never forgot the vision of the waves breaking on the rock of Tirikawa. He defeated his enemy Hikawera of Ngati Porou and went on to further victories.

Reference: https://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/208314-te-toka-tirikawa-story-behind-carving.html