Paikea Apirana a.k.a "Pai". Pai, is the main character and heroine of the film.
- Proud of her heritage
- Courageous – saves the whales
- Altruistic (selfless) she puts her life in jeopardy by trying to save the whales
- Determined to prove her grandfather wrong
- Resilient & defiant- perseveres despite her grandfather’s captious/scathing remarks; takes part in the fighting stick or taiaha.
- Articulate –wins a public speaking competition
- Devoted to her community
- Respectful to her family, community & faith tradition
- Loyal to her family especially her grandfather and seeks his approbation
- Marginalised because she is a girl
- Triumphant- she emerges as the new leader of her people
- Revered in his community- is respected by the members of his community.
- Implacable- very set in his ways. Doesn’t listen to others.
- Old-fashioned/Prejudiced- refuses to see that Paikea as the tribes’ leader because she is a girl.
- Officious/meddlesome- interferes in his son’s life by telling him how he should live.
- Obdurate/stubborn-believes that the tribes’ next leader must be a boy so he teaches the boys in the community fighting stick.
- Committed to his community and the Maori beliefs.
- Harsh/scathing-towards Paikea; belittles her because she is a girl.
- Caring and protective
- Candid- speaks her mind to Koro
- Loyal to her family
- Good role model for Paikea in terms of independence and determination