Awa is the Maori word for River. You might have seen the word awa in a placename or river near you. In Upper Hutt the river is known as Awakairangi. Awa (river) Kai (food) Rangi (Sky). When I was growing up there I heard that the name referred to the kai that flowed through the river after heavy rainfall, from the surrounding mountains, literally food flowing from the sky. On Sunday we went to Kaitoke, a Regional Park north of Upper Hutt which we frequented often as kids. Tributaries from Kaitoke flow down to Awakairangi, then on to Te Whanaganui a Tara (Wellington Harbour). Earlier this year my cousin also named her new baby Awa. Here is Sabina, throwing stones and wading her feet in the cold Awa.