A few months ago I was browsing around the website of the New Zealand company “Tuatahi.” First thing I wondered about was the origin of the company’s name. They spelled it out clearly in the “About Us” section of the site: “Pronounced Two-Ah-Tah-Hee, it is a Maori name (Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand). We approached our local Maori elders many years ago and they thought this name would be most appropriate, meaning “Number One” or “The Best.”
As most followers of “timber sports” know, Tuatahi is the leading manufacturer of competition chopping axes and cross-cut saws. Strange as it may seem, almost all of the serious competition axes come out of Australia and New Zealand. I think this is because their axe patterns evolved out of the need to chop relatively soft, knot-free wood of the same type preferred for sport chopping contests. Outside of competitive choppers, “ANZAK” (Australia and New Zealand) style axes are rarely seen in the U.S.