Many years ago Hine Hukatere saw a young man walking in the foothills of Aoraki looking for cutting stones. He was very charming and she was so beautiful that they soon fell in love.
However, every time Wawe tried to touch the Snow Maiden, she screamed in pain because his warm hands would melt her skin. Wawe would spring back in shock because she was so cold that his fingers would freeze instantly.
One day, Hine asked Wawe if he would go with her high into the mountains to ask Aoraki for warm breath and pink cheeks just like his.
Wawe was overjoyed and readily agreed and so they set out across the foothills and up into the mountain.
As they climbed Wawe became afraid. His ancestors had forbidden everyone from climbing Aorangi. It was the home of the tribal guardians who jealously guarded their resting place. Higher and higher they went. The air grew cold and thin.
Hine Hukatere called to Wawe, "IsnÂ´t it beautiful? Could we not live up here together?"
Wawe was too cold to reply. His fingers and toes were numb. His face was blue and his eyelids were heavy with snow. He slowly turned to Hine and saw her skipping with pleasure over the snowy ground.
"Come on Wawe, not far to go."
"Wawe, not far to go."
Wawe stumbled towards her voice.
He heard Tawhirimatea scream in his head. "Get off this mountain, you mortal!"
He felt Hine touch his hand as Tawhirimatea pushed him off the edge of the path. As he fell Hine Hukatere shook millions of snowflakes from her fingers so that Wawe would fall into their softness. But Tawhirimatea blew the snowflakes over the mountain and Wawe plunged down to his death.
Hine Hukatere never leaves the mountains now. Nor does she seek the company of people anymore. Instead she wanders along the white river of ice peering between the thick blocks and walls hoping to find Wawe again.
And as she goes she cries and her tears are ice that fall into the glacier and move it ever so slowly towards Tangaroa.