Basic Information

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

About Wairere / Waireira

Wairere was one of the eleven taniwha sons of Araiteuru (Āraiteuru) of Hokianga Harbour. [1] His brothers, set by their mother, all took it upon themselves to see who could burrow the furthest to see the country in which they lived. [1]

Wairere followed the path cut by his brother Waihou and changed direction before he reached Horeke. [2] He encountered a rough patch of land filled with boulders. [3] Wairere found that the boulders were interesting shapes, and he wanted to bring one back to prove his story. [2]

Unfortunately, the boulder proved exceptionally heavy, and he made it back to Waihou's path. There, exhaustion overtook him, so he fell asleep with the boulder still atop his head. [3] He has not yet shaken the load from his shoulders, so he remains there, sleeping most of the time from the weight over his head. [2]

Even to this day, waka (ships, canoes) may be upset by this stone if Wairere stirs in his sleep, or, worse yet, if he half-awake attempts to take revenge for his plight. [3]

Related Articles


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

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