The indigenous Maori people of New Zealand have a rich and colourful tradition of myth and legend.
The story of Pania of the Reef is one of them ...
This old Maori legend tells how Pania, lured by the siren voices of the sea people swam out to meet them.
When she endeavoured to return to her handsome Maori lover, Karitoki ,she was drawn down by the sea people and was transformed into the reef which lies beyond the Napier breakwater.
When the fisherman of today tell the legend of Pania, they claim that at ebbtide she may be seen lying outstretched at the bottom of the rocky shelf with her hair as black as ever and her arms stretched towards the shore.
This statue of Pania was presented to the city of Napier in 1954 to perpetuate the legend. It stands proudly in the Marine Parade gardens. Napier. NZ.