Basic Information

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

About Orira

Orira 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 or surrounding country side. [1]

Orira crossed through the lowlands to reach a mountain range he wished to see better. His burrowing created a tremendous commotion and attracted the attention of some locals. One of these locals, a giant, stopped him to see what the taniwha was doing. [3] Orira, displeased at being stopped as he made his way through the Umawera hills, responded rather tartly to the giant. [2]

The giant, enraged at the youngster's offense, clubbed Orira over the head, killing the taniwha instantly. A small trench remains to this day where Orira met his end. [2]

Related Articles


  1. Orbell 13
  2. Gregory - The Hokianga Harbour. Link defunct: <>
  3. White 2 [Online Text]

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