Cook and the Kauri

Tikanga - or traditional Maori lore and custom - is practiced by Maori as a way of surviving in, and protecting the natural world. It was into this world that James Cook and the Endeavour sailed in November, 1769.

According to tikanga, in the beginning out of nothingness, Ranginui (the sky father) and Papatuanuku (the earth mother) were created. Rangi and Papa clung together, trapping the children they had made in a land of darkness. The strongest child, Tane, was the one who pushed his parents apart to bring light to the land and allow his children – the forest plants and creatures - to flourish.  

To Maori, the kauri tree is the king…


He rae ki te rae, he ihu ki te ihu,
Te hau ka rere, te ha ka tau

A meeting of peoples, a mixing of cultures,
a blending of heritage, a sharing of future