Updated: Aug 13, 2020
Maori history tells the story of Haunui-a-nanaia, son of Popoto and his wife Nanaia, who was the ancestor of the Te Ati Hau a Paparangi people of the Whanganui region.
Haunui pursued his errant wife Wairaka who had run off with a slave. He set out from his home at Te Matau a Maui following the path of Wairaka and her lover across the island and down the west coast.
After exacting his revenge he decided to go home via the East Coast, and named many of the landmark features that he came across during his mission.
Upon starting back towards Te Matau a Maui, he climbed a high mountain and on reaching the top sat down to rest.
He named the mountain Remutaka - ‘remu’ to ‘gaze about’ and ‘taka’, ‘to sit down’. It could also refer to the edge ‘remu’ of his cape touching the ground ‘taka’ on that spot.
The Remutaka Range
Wellington’s harbour is surrounded by hills. Beyond its eastern shores, the bush-clad ridges of the Remutaka Range dominate the view. Here the southernmost section of the North Island’s mountainous spine meets the sea.
The Remutaka Range extends from the Remutaka Hill Road (north of Upper Hutt) to the harbour’s entrance. Although lower than the Tararua Range to the north, the Remutaka Range is still formidable, with peaks from 700 to 940 metres.