Many years ago, Tanemahuta went for a walk in the forest. He was looking up at his children and he was reaching for the sky. He noticed that they were starting to get sick, as the bugs were eating them. So Tanemahuta talked to his brother, Tanehokahoka, who called all of the children and the birds of the air together and asked if one of the birds would come and live on the forest floor.
First Tanemahuta asked the Tui. Tui looked up at the trees and they saw the sun filtering through the leaves. The Tui looked down at the forest floor, and he saw the cold, dark earth and he shuddered and said no. Then Tanehokahoka turned to the Pukeko to talk. The Pukeko looked down at the forest floor and they saw the wet damp earth and shuddered, and all was quiet and not a bird spoke. Sadness in the heart of the of Tanehokahoka was great, for he knew, that if one of his children didn’t come down from the roof of the forest, his children, would not have any home to live in. Then the Kiwi looked up at the tree, and they saw the sun filtering through the leaves. The Kiwi looked at his family and he looked at the other birds and he said I will. Tanemahuta and his family was very happy. Tanemahuta felt he should warn the Kiwi that he would loose his ability to fly but he would have strong legs and feet to help him search for food on the forest floor. He would become the most beloved in New Zealand.