The world is full of magic.
— W B Yeats

New Zealand: Make Maui's Fish Hook

New Zealand: Make Maui's Fish Hook

In English, the names for the two main islands in New Zealand are the north island and the south island. Pretty boring, right?! In Maori, the name of the South Island is Te Wai Pounamu (the waters of greenstone) and the North Island is Te Ika a Maui (the fish of Maui).

If you turn a map of New Zealand upside down, you can see how the North Island looks a bit like a fish – or a stingray!

Maui caught Te Ika a Maui with his magic fish hook. If you want to learn more of the legend, I highly recommend you read Peter Gossage’s book, The Fish of Maui.

In this craft, you will create your own version of Maui’s fish hook.

Maui's Fish Hook and Peter Gossage Book.JPG

You will need: 


  1. Print out the Maui’s Fish Hook template

  2. Let the creating begin. Using the salt dough, start moulding your fish hook. The fish hook template that we’ve provided you with is a really great guide if you’re not sure where to start, otherwise, let your creativity run away with you!

  3. Using the instructions on our Salt Dough recipe printable, bake your salt dough to set it. Once set, remove from the oven and allow to cool.

  4. While you are waiting for your fish hook to bake, take 3 x 1m lengths of gardeners twine, tie a knot in one end and plait the gardeners twine.

  5. Once your Fish Hook is cool you can choose whether or not you want to seal it. If you do, the now is the time. Follow the instructions on the sealant you are using.

  6. Finally, time to tie the plaited twine onto your fish hook. Depending on what your fish hook looks like, wind the twine around the handle of the fish hook and secure.

  7. All done! You now have a fish hook just like the one Maui used to catch Te Ika-a-Maui!!

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