Basic Information

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

About Wairupe

Wairupe 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]

Wairupe had an unsteady character, which brought him to a murky situation. He traveled south, left off of Waihou's path, with no particular goal to see any part of the country. [2] He zigzagged and drifted through the high hills, paying no attention to where he traveled. [2]

When he decided to head back to the harbor, he wasn't sure exactly how to return. The path was rough, and he had to slosh through the mudflats at one point. Here, the mud is soft, sticky, and can be much like a sinkhole. [2] In the Motukaraka estuary, Wairupe finally found himself underneath too much mud, and sinking more and more. He struggled to free himself but ended up suffocating in the mud. [2]

Related Articles


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

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