January 22, 2013
Waka journey revives Whanganuitanga
The iwi of Whanganui is feeling refreshed and invigorated after the completion of the annual voyage down the awa from the mountain to the sea.
Spokesperson Gerard Albert says the Tira Hoe Waka was developed in the late 1980s by elders who felt the best place to teach the lore of the river is on the river.
He says the trip heals individuals, whānau and the iwi itself, and teaches people to work together for a common purpose.
"And that’s the essence of iwitanga. Iwitanga is that ability to recognise the whole and I think the Tira Hoe Waka has been instrumental in ensuring that the iwi, within a modern context, retains a sense of itself, because there is no politics on the Tira Hoe Waka, the Tira Hoe Waka is basically wānanga, and learning, calling on ourselves to come together and be one with the river," Mr Albert says.
Copyright © 2013, Uma Broadcasting Ltd