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This is the maori name for the country as the first thing they saw while paddling their waka in this direction was a long strip of whitish cloud which stretched most, if not the whole length of the country..

Even the sailors coming here now know when they're nearing land as the cloud is the first thing they see..

I've been on the Cook Strait ferry for many trips to the south island, once we clear the Wellington heads and get to see down the east coast of the south island, usually all we see on a fine day is a long strip of cloud heading south along the coast, it wasn't until we got a lot closer that we saw faint bits of land through the cloud.. The site has stuck with me for some 50 years when I first saw it and asked my sailor father about it.. It's quite an awesome sight..
Love many, trust few, paddle your own waka.

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