Tā mātou pūrākau | The story of Ahikōmako

Māui attained the secret of fire from Mahuika when he tricked her into giving him her fiery maikuku (finger nails). After realising she had been deceived, Mahuika threw her very last maikuku at Māui in anger, and this set the world
aflame. The rains of Ranginui put out the inferno, but one flame survived in the kōmako tree.

Our tūpuna discovered they could make fire by rubbing pieces of kōmako together, and in both whakataukī and
waiata this alludes to both procreation and working together. Our tūpuna also had ingenious ways of carrying fire for long distances on land and at sea, and keeping fire alight for long periods of time through the wet and windy
winter months.

Ahi kā is the burning fires of our whenua, connecting us to who we are to where we’re from. Fire evokes us to think, to wānanga, to be creative and bring people together.

When you have a fire in your belly you can achieve anything. You become the ahi, and those around you feel the
warmth of that fire, which also inspires them.