Porourangi now has a girlfriend called Ana. Kahu is now two
years old. Porourangi brings both Ana and Kahu home to
Koro Apirana is away when Kahu first arrives. A group go to
pick him up from the bus. The others are stunned by Kahu‟s
greeting of her great-grandfather.
„I guess we should have expected it, but it was still a surprise
to hear her greeting to him. For his part, he stood there
thunderstruck, looking for somewhere to hide.
Oh the shame, the embarrassment, as she flung herself into
his arms, crying, “Oh Paka. You home now, you Paka. Oh,
Koro Apirana has established a wananga in Whangara. The boys have
lessons every week, to learn about their culture and traditions.
Kahu tries to sneak in every chance she gets. However, she is not
wanted there, and every time she is caught by Koro Apirana he
demands that she leave.
The importance of whales….
The whale is of great importance to the people of Whangara. It
all began with the separation of Ranginui and Papatuanuku.
After the separation, the children of Ranginui and
Papatuanuku divided up kingdoms for themselves. Tangaroa
became the god of the ____________???
He had two other guardians from the Kingdom of Land who
asked that their offspring be given the freedom to roam in
the sea. Before this they had been confined to the lakes.
Tangaroa agreed, and this was how sharks and whales were
granted habitation of the ocean.
The whales were always grateful for this freedom, and they became
known as the helpers of men. Whenever they were called, the whales
would offer assistance to men, as long as they knew the way of
talking to whales.
But as the world aged, man grew away from godliness, and they began
to lose their ability to speak with the helpers of men. So it was that
this knowledge was given to only a few, one of whom was Kahutia Te
Rangi, or Paikea.
The time came when Paikea asked his whale to bring him to the land,
to the far south. This place was Whangara.
The whales were known as the helpers of men, but in those
days even the shark was known as a helper of man.
„Until the time came when man turned on the beast which
had been a companion to him, and the whale killing began.‟ pg
Rawiri takes Kahu to a movie, which turns out to be a movie on
the hunting of whales in Antarctica. Kahu falls asleep, but she
soon wakes up. Even at a young age, Kahu understands what she
„The whale was dying in its own blood. The soundtrack was
suddenly filled with the sound of the whale in its death throes:
long, echoing, signing phrases which must have been recorded
from real whales. No wonder when I looked down at Kahu she had
woken from sleep, and the tears were tracking down her face.‟
Is this quote significant? Why/why not?
Kahu is now three years old, and the wananga sessions are
even more popular with the local boys. Because of this, Koro
Apirana seems to bear less of a grudge against her for being a
girl, and for being the eldest great-grandchild.
„The love which Kahu received from Koro Apirana was the
sort that dropped off the edge of the table, like
breadcrumbs after everybody else has had a big feed. But
Kahu didn‟t seem to mind. She ran into Koro Apirana‟s arms
whenever he had time for her and took whatever he was
able to give.‟ (pg 49).
Rawiri and the boys start taking Kahu with them everywhere, but she
is still not allowed near the wananga.
Koro Apirana takes the boys out to sea, and tells them of how they
have always made offering to Tangaroa, and blessed every new net
and line before they encroached on Tangaroa‟s territory.
His words were steeped with sadness and regret. „But we have not
always kept our pact with Tangaroa, and in these days of
commercialism it is not always easy to resist temptation.‟
“Listen boys,” he said, his voice haunted. “Whakarongo. Once there
were many of our protectors. Now there are few. Listen how empty
our sea has become.” (pg 52).
Once Koro and the boys are back on land, and in the wharenui
(large house on the marae), he begins to tell them the story of his
experience with whaling, and how it used to be one of the great
He talks of the awe he felt in seeing the majestic whales for the
first time, and how he got caught up in the thrill of the chase.
Little does he know that Kahu has snuck in and is listening to his
story, horrified. Before Rawiri can stop her, she runs into the
„No Paka, no!‟ she screamed.
His mouth dropped open. “Haere atu koe,” he shouted.
“Paka. Paka, no!”
Grimly, Koro Apirana walked up to her, took her by the arms and
virtually hurled her out. “Haere atu. Haere!” He repeated. The sea
thundered ominously. The rain fell like spears.
Kahu is inconsolable, insisting that it is her fault she was thrown
out, and that she loves her Paka.
Later that night, Rawiri sees Kahu out on the beach, silhouetted
on the sand. She is listening to the voices in the surf.
When she sees him, she runs towards him.
Rawiri sees, out in the ocean, three silver shapes leaping into the
„I suspect that Kahu overheard more than we thought. I am certain
she must have been there when we learnt that man was once again
able to talk, to communicate, with whales. After all, Paikea must
have had to tell his whale where to come.‟
„Hey!‟ one of the boys had said, pointing. “There‟s orca.”
Even more strange, though, was that Kahu had begun to make eerie
sounds in her throat. I swear those long, lamenting sighs of hers
were exactly the same as I had heard in the movie theatre. It
sounded as if she was warning them. The orca suddenly dived.‟
1) What do these quotes show?
2) What do they show us about Kahu?
3) Do you think they are important for the rest of the novel?