Basic Information

Type/Species: Taniwha
Origin: Maori (Māori) Mythology, New Zealand

About Motukauri

Motukauri was one of the eleven taniwha sons of Araiteuru (Āraiteuru) of Hokianga Harbour. [2] Each of her eleven sons took a journey to see the country in which they lived, and each left his own mark on the harbor. [1]

In addition to the sight-seeing journey, Motukari set out to find his brother Ohopa, who had become so angry that he became a menace to the area that he wedged himself. [2] Motukari, one of the last brothers to journey from the sea cave home, and he became confused by the high ridges. He circled around, trying to find his brother, making Motuti basin, before finding his trail again. [2]

After he found a familiar starting point, however, his wayward brother had already spotted him from above. Ohopa had the advantage of having both a good view and a great supply of rocks, which he pelted down over Motukari. [2] As he headed out of the harbor, one of the rocks stuck him on the head, leaving him unconscious and eventually killing him. Today, Motukari's body is still visible as Motuti Island. [2]

Related Articles


  1. Orbell 13
  2. Gregory - The Hokianga Harbour. Link defunct: <>

For more information on footnotes and references, please see the bibliography.