Motutaiko Island

Hi, our names are Te Kapua, Ngarimu and Nathan, we are year 6 students at Tauhara Primary School. We are doing an inquiry about Motutaiko Island. Not a lot is known about this very special place to the people of Tūwharetoa. We want to record some of this information and history.

1. The Island is tapu and it’s a burial ground for chiefs that have passed away like Tamamutu's great grandson Rangituamātotoru.

2. The Island Motutaiko lies 3.4 kilometres off the south-eastern shore of Lake Taupō in the rohe of Ngāti Te Rangiita, a hapu of Ngāti Tūwharetoa. The island covers 11 hectares.

3. There is a carving of Ngatoroirangi who was a brave warrior and didn’t fear anything that was in his path.

4. The taniwha guards the island and the taniwha is Ngatoroirangi’s pet.

5. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Tamamutu and his great-grandson were two major Ngāti Tūwharetoa chiefs. They established a stronghold on Motutaiko and Rangituamātotoru was buried there.

6. Motutiako Island is of spiritual significance to Māori people. It’s a protected island and it's an ecological treasure.

7. Motutaiko has a whole lot of water around it protecting it from mammals introduced to New Zealand.

8. The island is haven to birds, it has a little shag colony; they also breed on the island. The island was named after the Taiko or mutton bird.

9. Motutaiko Island is home to several endangered species like the land snail. Small scale skinks may also live on the island. There are endangered plants like types of mistletoe too.

10. Motutaiko is the only sacred place in the middle of the lake.


You can read more about Motutaiko Island here.