Nanakia who was sometimes called Ngahakea is a taniwha who lives on Tararua Maunga up where the Hector River begins. Sometimes he used to make himself look just like a man so that he could go down to the Wairarapa valley and move among people. Once down on the plains Nanakia used to steal away with people into the night taking them back to his home in the mountains.
Patupaiarehe, the fairy folk also dwell up on Tararua. Fair skinned with long tasselled hair and eyes that shine like glowing embers the patupaiarehe are the descendents of a hapu that was banished from the valley. Over time the stature of our fairies has become shorter than normal humans with their nature turning to mischievous pranks and malicious assaults.
The patupaiarehe live in the tops of trees that are engulfed within the strangling embrace of rata. The encircling vines of the rata provide a ready made staircase. Although they seem to have given up the practice, in the past they would sneak down to villages on the plains. If they did not walk they would float down on vessels made of raupo stalks. Like Nanakia they were known to carry away children, preserved food, animals and occasionally wives!