November 07, 2019
Rata waka launched
Three new waka carved in as part of the Tuia 250 programme were launched at Te Pēwhairangi, the Bay of Islands.
The waka were carved during the Rata symposium which has been running at Whāngarei’s Hihiaua Cultural Centre.
Tuiā 250 co-chair Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr says it was deeply satisfying to see new generations of carvers from Hawaii, Tahiti and Aotearoa at work alongside some of New Zealand’s master carvers and know the skills and knowledge are safe for future generations.
The Hawaiian waka was named Kama, the Māori one Kūaka, and the Tahitians called their va’a Tamari'i Maohi.
The ceremony at Haratū Marae in Kororāreka-Russell also included the launch of Puaniho Tautira Mairenui, a waka started 27 years ago by the late Sir Hek Busby and the late Puaniho Tauotaha from Tahiti.
It was completed during the symposium by Puaniho’s son Freddie.
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