In The Aucklander 14 July Piha resident Pita Turei explained the meaning of taniwha in the Maori cultural world. Pita is currently working on a show called Taniwha! due to open at the Auckland Museum on 16 July.
The notion of taniwha has come into prominence after Auckland Council Independent Maori Statutory Board member, Glenn Wilcox, raised whether the Taniwha Horotiu had been asked about a transport development.
You can read what Pita had to say in The Aucklander article here. He particularly talks about Kaiwhare, the taniwha who lived at The Gap, Piha, and who raged along the Coast.
I reckon taniwha is a great way to explain the changing moods of Piha, and the wild storms and crashing waves that come in from the ocean.