March 25, 2013
Busby sailor of the year
Northland Regional Council has awarded Hekenukumai Busby the accolade as its Northland Sailor of the Year for 2013.
Chairperson Craig Brown says the far north waka builder and navigator’s passion for, and contributions to, waka culture in New Zealand and around the Pacific embodies what the award is about.
In his career he has built at least 30 waka and sailed more than 30,000 nautical miles around the Pacific in his ocean-going waka hourua Te Aurere, using only traditional navigational techniques.
Last year the 80-year-old oversaw the closing of the final corner of the ‘Polynesian triangle, with Te Aurere and Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti making the 5000 nautical mile voyage to Rapa Nui (Easter Island).Those waka are now in Tahiti being refurbished for the voyage home.
Mr Busby says even though he won’t be with them physically, he will be with them in spirit.
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