You have just one place

in all of Aotearoa

to nest and rear

your young. (Kotuku)

On Westland coast

along Waitangiroto

your home

glistens in the sun.( Kotuku)


Kotuku, White Heron

Angel of the forest

Sparkling in the mountain mist

In your charm we see sacred mystery

unfold before our eyes


Tree tops bow beneath

your chiefly feather plumage.

And lakes reflect with pride

your regal flight.

Hunted for your beauty

you nearly disappeared

till understanding saw the light



Great Kotuku, live

with grace and splendour rising.

though you’re rarely ever seen. (Kotuku)

Blessings in your flight

Waitangiroto calls you home

when your blessing work is done. (Kotuku)




He Kotuku rerenga tahi (Maori proverb)

(A white heron’s flight is seen but once)


Lyrics: James Lyons

Music: Chris Skinner