Te Matau-a-Māui | The fishhook of Māui

Māui, the Māori god who fished up the North Island of New Zealand.

The story begins with a day out fishing with his brothers.

The brothers, weary of Māui’s antics, refused to give him any hook or bait so he used his own fishhook made from the jawbone of his grandmother. He then punched himself in the nose and smeared his blood on the hook to act as bait. Before long Māui caught a great fish that turned out to be the North Island of New Zealand - Te Ika-a-Māui, the fish of Māui.

According to legend, the hook instantly transformed into the coastline of Hawke Bay, which viewed from above still looks like the fish hook.

The iconic Cape Kidnappers is similarly named for the same legend - Te Kauwae-a-Māui which can also mean 'the fishhook of Māui' or 'the jawbone of Māui'.