top of page

Koro & Moko Fishing,

Part four:

ihenga and hinetekakara

cabbage tree.png

Koro rests in Hinemoa’s Pool quietly reflecting on the korero of the day. The sun is at its highest and he is keen to continue fishing before heading back to their kāinga at Waikuta. Moko asks him about how Ōhinemutu got its name. He relates to her the story of Hinetekakara, the wife of Īhenga who was killed and whose entrails were hung on a tree.


Ōhinemutu was given its name by the great explorer Īhenga, grandson of our Te Arawa ancestor and captain of the Te Arawa waka, Tamatekapua.  After the interment of his father Tuhoromatakaka in Hauraki, Ihenga settled in Maketu. He fulfilled his promises to his father and his sacred rites and duties to his father’s brother, Kahumatamomoe. He eventually married Hinetekakara, his first cousin and daughter of Kahumatamomoe.


When Ihenga was away from home for a while on one of his explorations, his wife Hinetekakara was captured and killed by the descendants of Ika,  who some say, were the original settlers of this area. They took her body back to Whanakenake (Waiteti) where they tossed her entrails (organs) into the lake.


(Some versions of this story say it was Īhenga’s daughter Hinetekakara who was murdered.  Stories when being re-told tend to change over time and whether or not it was his daughter or his wife who was killed, the grief, the rage, the feelings of Īhenga & the outcome is still the same.)

Ihenga returned to Parawai at Ngongotahā. Realising his wife was nowhere to be found, he went searching for her and discovered her remains hanging on a tree stump in the water at a beach a little north of Ngongotaha. He named that area Hakaipuku because of his discovery.

A story as told by Norma Sturley

Values: relationships, identity

More to read:

About Ōhinemutu:


About Īhenga:


See a map of ĪIhenga’s journey here:


More to listen to:

Hear to a piece of music inspired by Hinetekakara and composed by Gillian Whitehead here:


(Read about how the song was created after a suggestion by one of Hinetekakara’s descendents Aroha-Yates-Smith here:


Norma Sturley, Ngāti Whakaue, Te Arawa

bottom of page