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There were once three mountains that lived in the Hautere forest overlooking Tauranga Moana.
One was Otanewainuku who still stands there today adorned with the tallest trees and beautiful birds.
There was also the female mountain Puwhenua, a beautiful hill, clothed in the finest ferns, shrubs and trees of the forest of Tane.
The other was a maunga pononga, a nameless mountain. He was desperately in love with Puwhenua. but, her heart belonged to Otanewainuku.
There seemed like no hope for the nameless one who decided to end it all by drowning himself in the Pacific Ocean, Te Moananui a Kiwa. So He asked the patupaiarehe to plait a magical rope to haul him toward the sea. They slowly pulled him through where the waimapu river now flows.
When they reached the sea it was close to dawn, the sun rose, fixing the mountain to that place. then the patupaiarehe fled back to the forrest, but not before giving him the name of Mauao. Which now marks the entrance of Tauranga Moana.
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