Whales’ migration routes guided people to new lands, aiding in the spread of people throughout Polynesia. This piece shows a pair of humpback whales, a mother and her calf. They have gifted a waka to the people of Hawaiki so the whales may lead the people to New Zealand.
The waka is based on a northern waka called Ngātokimatawhaorua which initially bought many Māori to New Zealand. The background shows the meeting of Rangi and Moana, the sky and sea. Where they meet is the kiri kiore, the horizon line which holds an important place in Māori mythology.