Legend of the Manawatu River
In the Puketoi Range of Southern Hawkes Bay grew a giant totara tree. Okatia, a spirit, stirred the tree into restlessness and it began to move to the northwest, gouging out a channel. Soon the totara found its way was blocked by a range of high hills. Tumbling about in a frenzy, the tree bored the rock to make a way through. Thus Te Apiti (the Manawatu Gorge) was formed and the tree, tired by its great task wandered over the plain to the west of the ranges, forming a meandering course that would fill with the waters of the Manawatu River.