condensed discuss document expanded export feedback print share remove reset document_white enquire_white export_white report_white
Explore topics
discuss document export feedback print share

Te Hau (Wind)

Wind is all around us. It flies the kites, disperses the seeds, and erodes the whenua (land). Without it sailors would have to reach for their oars, migrating manu (birds) would struggle, and there would be no cool summer matangi (breeze).

Nau mai e te pūpū tarakihi

Ka hārongia te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa e ngā hau o Tāwhiri-Mātea, ka tū ōna ngaru tūātea, ka karawhiua e ia ngā au kaha o te moana.

Kua waimarie koe ki te kite anga ātaahua pēnei i tēnei, i ngā takutai o Tāmaki Makaurau? Mā ngā momo hau onge tonu ka puta mai ai te pūpū tarakihi (paper nautilus) ki ō tātou takutai.

He mea nui whakaharahara te pūpū tarakihi ki te iwi o konei ki a Ngāti Whātua. E rua whakatupuranga i mua atu i te taenga mai o ngā tāngata o Ingarangi, ka puta he matakite ki tētahi tohunga, ki a Tītahi, o Ngati Whatua, i Ōrākei. I kitea e ia te pūpū tarakihi e ākina mai ana ki uta e.

A rare visitor cast upon our shores

Wind whips across the Pacific Ocean, controlling the currents.

Have you ever discovered a beautiful anga (shell) like the one shown below on a Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland beach? It’s a lucky find if you have. The pūpū tarakihi (paper nautilus) needs a rare wind system to carry it to our shores.

Pūpū tarakihi are especially significant to local iwi (tribe) Ngāti Whātua. Two generations before the British arrived, Titahi, a tohunga (priest) of Ngāti Whātua, had a vision at Ōrākei. He saw pūpū tarakihi being driven by the tūāraki (north wind) toward the shore. Did Titahi’s matekite (vision) predict the arrival of foreign waka rā (sailing ships) and big changes to come?

Pūpū tarakihi shell, Paper nautilus, collected 1920s, Great Barrier Island.

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira. MA131292.

Our volcanic windbreak

Barriers like puia (volcanoes) shelter land from hau hūkerikeri (howling winds).

Can you imagine Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland without Rangitoto? Around 650 years ago, a ring of steam formed on the surface of the Waitematā Harbour, the water bubbled up and explosive eruptions spewed in all directions creating the island we know today as Rangitoto.

The whanga (harbour) was changed forever. Today this mighty maunga (mountain) acts like a giant windbreak against north-easterly tūpuhi (storms) that would normally batter Auckland. Imagine Mission Bay with real surf!

Installation (part), Peter Lange, c.1985-c.1992.

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira. 1996.11.17.

Regatta: The Game of Champions, board game, 1999, purchased 2015.

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira.

First over the line

Knowing the ahunga (direction) of the wind has helped sailors whakatere (navigate) New Zealand's shores for hundreds of tau (years).

Ahoy there sailor! Clamber aboard, hoist the sails and let’s go for a tāwhangawhanga (sprint) up the whanga (harbour).

The sailors with Team New Zealand are some of the best in the world. They won the America’s Cup in 1995 and five years later they did it again on Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s Waitematā Harbour. Now the ‘City of Sails’ wants the cup back. So can our team do it again?

Bugs wing it across the ditch

Strong air currents can carry pepeke (insects) thousands of kilometres.

Yachties crossing the Tasman Sea have occasionally been surrounded by clouds of pēpepe (butterflies), also winging their way from Australia to Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.

Other insects have been known to catch a ride on jet streams high in the kōhauhau (atmosphere). Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s climate is a bit harsh for blue moon butterflies so they don’t survive long term. But kahuku (monarch butterflies) love it here in Auckland, and because it’s strictly a one-way trip, they are now permanent residents.

Danaus plexippus (monarch butterfly), Hypolimnas bolina (blue moon butterfly), Locusta migratoria (locust), Teleogryllus commodus (Black field cricket), 2015.

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira.

Let’s go fly a kite

All it takes is a decent breeze and you’re up, runga (up) and away.

Ever tried to hold a manu aute (kite) in a gust of wind? Let it go and it spirals high into the sky; it could be a bird flying home. Within Māori culture, kites tūhono (connect) the sky and the earth. The suburb of Manurewa gets its name from the kite. It’s full ingoa (name) is Te Manu rewa o Tamapahore, or the drifted-away kite of Tamapahore.

Kite, Ngati Rongowhakaata.

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira. 13666.


Cite this article

MacFarlane, Kirsten. Te Hau (Wind). Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira. First published: 5 June 2015. Updated: 21 June 2016.
URL: www.aucklandmuseum.com/discover/collections/topics/te-hau-wind

Related objects

Discuss this topic

Join the discussion about this article by posting your response on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #amdiscuss

Support the collection

Help us do more. Donate now and be part of your Museum’s journey to stimulate inspiration, learning and enjoyment.