There is no story more romantic than that of Pania, the beautiful maiden of the sea people and Karitoki, her handsome Maori lover.
Pania was a woman of the sea and one day she meet a man of the land, whom she married.
Pania lived with her husband in a whare (house) at a spot now known as SturmÂ´s Gully, near the foot of the Napier breakwater.
But the sea people were forever calling her. She resisted their call for a long time, but the lure of the sea people became irresistible and she swam out to meet them, just once.
The sea people came from the depths and surrounded her, they drew her down into the caverns of the sea, never to return to the land of mortals.
And now, if you pass over the reef where the kingfish shoal and gaze in to the depths, you will see Pania with arms outstretched, ever striving to return to the lover she left on that fateful day.