17. Te Tukinga – Fire and Ice Caves
Ngātoroirangi climbs Tauhara and Tongariro.
Ngātoroirangi saw Mt Tongariro in the distance and was determined to climb it.
Travelling to the mountain’s base he was confronted by Hape-ki-tūārangi.
Ngātoroirangi chanted powerful prayers that brought snow to the mountain, causing Hape-ki-tūārangi and his followers to perish.
This is the same snow that nearly claimed Ngātoroirangi’s life as he ascended the mountain.
Ngatoroirangi struggled with fatigue and cold during his ascend, but against all odds he made it to the summit. He looked out over the plains and claimed the land that is now Tūwharetoa territory.
As he was weakened by the climb and the cold, he called to his sisters in Hawaiki to send him fire to warm him.
‘Kuiwai e, Haungaroa e, ka riro au i te tonga, tukuna mai te ahi!’
O Kuiwai, O Haungaroa, I am seized by the cold wind to the south, send me fire!).
The name Tongariro comes from ‘tonga’ (south wind) and ‘riro’ (seized).
Narrative is told in “Ngā Pou Ahi” Pillars of Fire #9