Fig 1. Lee Rapira – Waihou 2017 Digital Image

Below is Kylie McCormicks (2013) record of the fate of the taniwha.

Waihou, being the instigator, became the first to leave the cave. The cave faced the setting sun, the west, so he set out in that direction. Being the first taniwha to burrow, he left a considerable amount of change to the geography. First, he burrowed through the Narrows into a wide valley, which opened a pathway for the ocean to fill the land, creating the Kohukohu Horeke expanse.

After the trial of the Narrows, Waihou found himself at the edge of the Puketi mountains, which forced him to move around the rocky exteriors. Needing rest, he waddled up a slope until he came to a high plateau, where he rested.  Waihou dug a circular hole with his tail on the flattest part of the plateau for a bed.

Round and round, Waihou curled up in the middle of his bed, making himself comfortable. As he slept, his tail filled up with rainwater, and he drowned there. This is how Lake Omapere came to be.

Waihou & Lake Omapere

The story of Waihou is told in part here in the six part or 76 minute documentary (Marler, 2007) that looks at the efforts to restore the mauri (life spirit) of Lake Omapere, which is a large fresh water lake in Northland. For the people of Ngāpuhi it is a taonga (treasure) but it has been made toxic by pollution by the industries that surround it. 

Restoring the Mauri of Lake Omapere


McCormick, K. (2013) Dragons of Fame, Waihou
Retrieved from – http://www.blackdrago.com/fame/waihou.htm

Marler, S. (2007). Restoring the Mauri of Lake Omapere Film.
Retrieved from – https://www.nzonscreen.com/embed/8b261b9868399828

Fig 2. Lake Omapere
Retrieved from Land, Air, Water, Aotearoa

Fig 3: Map (2011) James and Keely Down Under
Retrived from http://jamesandkeely.blogspot.co.nz/2011/03/lake-omapere-okaihau-and-rawene.htmld Accessed 11 June 2017