Māori myths and legends

Image: Tane Māori God of the forest by Craig Dylke on Flickr

This page has links to Māori myths and legends about gods and goddesses, and the part they played in the creation of the world and its inhabitants. SCIS 1700720 

See also: Matariki


This site provides access to thousands of pictures, videos, sounds and objects from New Zealand museums, libraries, galleries, archives and private institutions. To discover sets and items use the search term Māori myths and legends.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate, secondary


Māori legends and myths

Although the author of this site does not profess to be a professional in the field of history, the site includes four important Māori myths and legends.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate

Māori myths and traditions

Te Ara, The Encyclopedia of New Zealand has relevant and in-depth links on this page about the three story complexes in Māori mythology. On this page are also links to sources for Māori legends, literary forms and traditions that link to these myths.

Suggested level: intermediate, secondary

Māori myths, legends and contemporary stories

Te Kete Ipurangi is a trusted and reliable source of myths and legends and contemporary stories. These have been written by or retold by Wiremu Grace and have been handed down by generations.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate, secondary

Māori perspective, myths and legends

This Department of Conservation PDF explains Tikanga Māori, then makes availabe contemporary and traditional myths and legends about birds in Māori mythology, including How the kiwi lost its wings.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate
www.doc.govt.nz/documents/getting-involved/students-and-teachers/field-trips-by-region/auckland/18-maori-perspectives.pdf (PDF)

Māori religion and mythology Part 1

New Zealand Electronic Text Collection contains a digitised copy of Elsdon Best’s work Māori Religion and Mythology a very comprehensive resource on the origins of the Gods of Māori and religion.

Suggested level: secondary


To discover information on the school work site ManyAnswers use the search term Māori legends.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate, secondary

Ngā Pūrākau me Ngā Pakiwaitara - Myths and legends

This link very briefly explains why myths and legends are important and what their common themes are.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate


Amazing tales of Aotearoa, by Glenn Colquhoun, 2008 
Counting the stars: four Māori myths, by Gavin Bishop, 2009 
Maui: the legend of the demi-god Maui-Tikitiki-a-Taranga, by Hana Hiraina Erlbeck, 2000 
Raupā book of Māori mythology, by A W Reed, 2008 

How Maui slowed the Sun by Peter Gossage. Darkhizzle. Youtube. 5.08

Māori Creation Story in Sand Art by Marcus Winter. The OriginalArtSale’s channel. Youtube. 7.03