Long ago, Tane Mahuta, the God of the forest, had been living happily with his children, the trees.
After a while Tane Mahuta noticed that his children were slowly rotting. There were huhu grubs eating his children.
The next day, Tane Mahuta called upon all the birds in the sky.
"Will any of you birds come down from the sky and feed off these soul sucking grubs?" said Tane.
There was a silence. Not a single noise was heard. Tane called to Pukeko,
"Pukeko, would you like to live on the cold, damp forest floor?"
Pukeko looked at the other birds and said to Tane,
"Sorry, but I don't want to get my fabulous feet wet."
Tane then called Tui. "Tui, do you want to live on the dark forest floor and feed off the soul sucking grubs?" Tui looked at the other birds and replied "Sorry, but me and my family are afraid of the dark."
Tane turned away in disappointment.
Then he turned to Pipiwharauroa. "Pipiwharauroa, will you live on the forest floor?" Pipiwharauroa looked at his family and said, " sorry but I am too busy building a nest for my family." Tane was shocked. Not one bird had the courage to live on the forest floor.
Not a single movement was seen from the birds. Out of nowhere came Kiwi "I will accept your task!"
Everyone was surprised. Tane then said, "If you choose to live on the forest floor you will have to lose your wings, and grow long, string legs to rip bark off the trees." Kiwi looked at the other birds pretty wings and said, "I will."
Tane turned to the other three birds and said, "Since you weren't able to help you will be punished. Pukeko, since you don't like wetting your feet, you shall live in a swamp. Tui, you have to fly in the night, and Pipiwharauroa, since you are too busy building your nest, you are not allowed to build another nest. Instead you have to lay your eggs in other bird's nests. But to you Kiwi, you will be known as an icon to Aotearoa."
To this day, the kiwi is still well known throughout Aotearoa.