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Tāwhirimātea lived between the embrace of Ranginui and Papatūānuku as did the other children of his whānau. He liked living close to his parents. He could talk to his mother, and get advice from his father when he needed to. Tāwhirimātea didn't mind the difficulties of living in continual darkness, or that space was so confined that he and the rest of his siblings had to crawl to get around. But the other children had had enough.

Tāwhirimātea 1

A meeting was called and the majority of the children decided that their parents had to be separated.

Tūmātauenga addressed them, "Once they feel the blows of my patu they will soon loosen their grip and we'll finally be free to walk upright and greet Tamanuiterā, the sun."

Tāwhirimātea disagreed."How dare you! How dare you think of hurting our parents in such a way. They fed you, nurtured and raised you, and now you reward them with this?"

The children bowed their heads in shame, but Tūmatauenga stood his ground.

Tāwhirimātea 2

"We have asked them to separate, we have pleaded with them to let us see the light, but do they listen? No, this is the only way!"

Tūmātauenga raised his patu to strike at his parents but Tāwhirimātea was on him in a flash. Grappling in the dark they struggled, until finally Tāne Mahuta pleaded for quiet.

"Stop! Fighting will not resolve our problem, we have agreed that we cannot continue to live this way. I'm sorry Tāwhiri but separating our parents has been agreed upon by the majority of us. With the gentle push of my arms, and without hurting them, I will push our parents apart."

Tāwhirimātea 3

The others agreed, but Tāwhirimātea refused to support what he didn't believe was right. Firstly Tāne Mahuta braced his legs on Papatūānuku and pushed Ranginui with his arms. He used all his strength, but without success.

"You cannot separate them," said Tāwhirimātea. "Give it up, they are meant to be together!"

But Tāne Mahuta wasn't finished. He lay on his back, pulled his legs to his chest then pushed from below. Slowly he pushed, but still nothing happened. Again he pushed, using all his strength, but nothing happened. He took a breath and pushed once more. Releasing his breath, and taking another, he pushed again, a new surge of strength pumping through his body. And at last there was movement.

Tāwhirimātea roared with fury, "No!"

But it was too late. Ranginui and Papatūānuku were forced apart, and light filled the world. The brothers lay in shocked silence covering their eyes from the brightness of Tamanuiterā shining down on their cowering bodies.

Tāwhirimātea was first to jump to his feet, lashing out at the others in anger. "I will never let you rest for what you have done, even your children won't be safe from my clutches! This will be my domain forever and you will always feel my wrath," he called to the other children, and he flew up to join his father.

As time passed animals, plants and people grew in the light of the sun. The mokopuna of Ranginui and Papatūānuku populated the world.

Tāwhirimātea kept his promise living in the realm of his father, the sky. He became the guardian of the winds, Ngā hau e whā, and continues to be so to this day.

Sometimes Tāwhirimātea is content to listen to advice from his parents and forgive his siblings. On those days the weather is fine, clear and calm. But sometimes he is reminded of the pain his parents endured when they were separated, and the longing they still have for each other. On those days he sends tornadoes, hurricanes, and cyclones to hound the descendants of those that betrayed him.

(c) Wiremu Grace

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