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Why is the project called Te Kākahu Kahukura?

Kākahu means to dress or cloth as well as being a generic name for clothing and garments. It also references the actions of Tāne Mahuta in clothing his mother Papatūānuku following the separation from his father Ranginui.

Kahukura is a significant atua known in Ngāi Tahu traditions as being responsible for cloaking the wreckage of Te Waka o Aoraki with plants, forests and swamps, and populating these places with all the varieties of indigenous birds that dwell there.

Kahukura is particularly important to the creation of the forests of Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū/Banks Peninsula and is remembered through the naming of a number of prominent peaks of the Port Hills including Te Tihi o Kahukura (Castle Rock) and Te Heru o Kahukura (Sugarloaf).

Kahukura is also known to take the celestial form of a rainbow and was central in local rituals and karakia. Kahukura is also a name for the native red admiral butterfly and literally means a cloak coloured with red ochre – another connection to the volcanic nature of the Port Hills.

Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke and Te Taumutu Rūnanga provided the name for the project and support its use.