Tāwhaki and te Aka Matua

Publication Date 
22 December 2016

Justice Joe WilliamsJustice Sir Joe Williams tells the story of the Law Commission's Māori name, Te Aka Matua o te Ture. Te Aka Matua refers to the parent vine that Tāwhaki used to climb up to the heavens.

At the foot of the ascent he and his brother, Karihi, find their grandmother, Whaitiri, who guards the vines that form the pathway into the sky. Karihi tries to climb the vines first, but makes the error of climbing up the aka taepa, or hanging vine. He is blown violently around by the winds of heaven, and falls to his death. Following Whaitiri's advice Tāwhaki climbs the aka matua, or parent vine and reaches the heavens and receives the three baskets of knowledge.

Recorded at the Law Commission's 30th Anniversary Symposium on 3 November 2016. 

Date Given 
Thursday, December 22, 2016