Hema was killed by the Ponaturi, and Tawhaki and his mother, Urotonga, and his older brother, Karihi, killed them all but two in revenge. They tricked the Ponaturi into entering a house, and then locked them in, claiming there was still time before the dawn. They then opened the door after the sun was up, the Ponaturi died at the exposure to sunlight. The survivors were Tonga-Hiti and Kanae.
Tawhiki was an expert at building houses and making floor mats.
Tawhiki received a vine to heaven from Waitiri (his grandmother) and he climbed it, meeting first his ancestors, then Maru (war-god), who taught him weaponry and spells which, when chanted, would paralyze his enemies. He eventually reached the sixth of twelve heavens, Nga-Atua, and was reunited with his late lover, Tangotango, and their daughter Arahuta.