Mana Whenua partnership


Te reo Māori names have been gifted to structures and stations of the Eastern Busway by mana whenua Zaelene Maxwell-Butler (Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki) and Gavin Anderson (Ngāti Whanaunga). The name Pakūranga comes from the original name of the area, Te Pakūranga Rā Hihi, meaning ‘The battle of the sun’s rays’.

He Pūrākau (The story):

The name Pakūranga originates from the name Te Pakūranga Rā Hihi which means ‘The Battle of the Sun's Rays’. The battle, a pūrākau (ancient legend) was started from a forbidden love between Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki tupuna Hinemairangi, the daughter of a Tūrehu chief Kōiwiriki from Te Ngāherehere o Kohukohunui (Hunua-Papakura area) and Tamaireia, the son of Pūtere, a Patupaiarehe chief from Te Waonui a Tiriwa (Waitakere Ranges).

Kōiwiriki led his war party to the maunga Ōhuiarangi (named for Ngāi Tai ancestress Huiarangi / today called Pigeon Mountain). Here they would fight against Pūtere and his war party. The battle raged fiercely.  

Deciding to employ other tactics, Kōiwiriki urged his tohunga (priest), to chant an incantation asking Tamanuiterā (the sun) to rise earlier above the eastern horizon. Tamanuiterā did so, and the heat of his rays caught the Waitakere war party by surprise, annihilating many.  

The battle continued with Pūtere retaliating, driving Kōiwiriki and his war party back to Kohukohunui. When the battles ceased, it was then learned that Hinemairangi had been caught bythe rays of Tamanuiterā and turned to stone. Her loss was felt so deeply by the people, the marks from the fires that scorched the earth and their people, Kōiwiriki and his people became known as ‘Te Iwi Hunua’ – the scorched tribe, and Hinemairangi, she rests in the inter-tidal zone of Pōhaturoa, caressed daily by the waters of Te Marae o Tai (Maraetai Beach).

Te reo Māori - Station and structure names 



When the  7km busway is completed it will span from Panmure to Botany and will have four new stations: Pakūranga in the town centre, Te Taha Wai near to Edgewater College and Shopping Centre, Koata by Riverhills Park, and Pōhatu in Burswood.

  • Te Taha Wai represents the water’s edge, the riverbanks of Te Wai o Taiki (Tāmaki River)


  • Koata speaks to the heart of Tī Rākau, the New Zealand native cabbage tree which is found in the Pakūranga area


  • Pōhatu stone or rocks. This references the outcrop of rocks in the Tāmaki estuary which Ngāi Tai legend acknowledges as the perished tūrehu and patupaiarehe peoples.


  • Rā Hihi (sun’s rays) will be the name of the flyover being built above Reeves Road in Pakūranga. It will improve traffic flow and reduce congestion, playing a crucial role in the Eastern Busway’s success in providing quick and reliable travel, and is planned to open in 2026.

  • Tī Rākau will be the name of the new bridge that will sit next to Tī Rākau Drive. Rākau (tree) is also a traditional Māori stick game.

  • Taupaepae (to meet or escort your visitors) will be the name of the bridge joining Tī Rākau Drive and Burswood. It represents the manaakitanga of Auckland Transport safely guiding and transporting the community along the bridge. Paepae is the horizon.