Once there was a young warrior named Rātā, who wanted to be a leader of his iwi.
Tāwhirimātea often sent powerful storms to Rātā's village.
Rātā helped his iwi to build a wall to protect them from the storms.
Rātā decided to build a waka to help his iwi move away from the storms. He found a mighty tōtara and cut it down with his toki.
The next day, when Rātā returned to the spot where he'd cut down the tree, it was standing back up again!
Confused and irritated, Rātā worked extra hard to cut down the tree with his toki and scrape off its bark. It was almost sundown when he went home, completely exhausted.
This time, Rātā hid in the bushes to see what would happen to the tōtara. He watched as the hākuturi, birds, and insects began to reassemble the tree. Every bird picked up a leaf and put it back on the tree. Every insect picked up a chip of bark and put it back on the tree. The hākuturi began to help the tree stand up again.
"What are you doing?" Rātā shouted. The hākuturi explained that in his haste, Rātā had forgotten to pray to Tāne-mahuta for permission to cut down the tree.
Rātā felt so ashamed. He wept as he apologised and prayed to Tāne-mahuta for forgiveness.
Touched by Rātā's sincerity and efforts to help his iwi, the hākuturi decided to build a waka for Rātā.
The waka was the best waka anyone had every seen. Rātā was able to help his iwi move away from the stormy island. Finally, Rātā was seen as a leader among his people.