May 20, 2021
Waka festival gives rangatahi taste of ocean life
School groups from Taitokerau to Whakatane are in Tauranga today learning about life on board voyaging waka
Four waka hourua are in the city for Te Hau Kōmaru – the first national festival for the new waka society.
Jack Thatcher, the captain of host waka Ngāhiraka Mai Tawhiti, says more than 800 people came down to the port yesterday to welcome the three visiting waka, Haunui, Hinemoa and Tairāwhiti.
Today is for the kids to crawl over the craft and learn about waka handling, celestial navigation, and more.
"So we've got the star dome and we've got people in there teaching the way we use the stars to guide us over the ocean. They learn how to raise and lower the sails, so it's a pretty hands on experience for the young people. They learn all about the maramataka, and then there's knots and lashes," he says.
The festival, which runs into the weekend, and is a chance to discuss what needs to be done to support the kaupapa so more young people can experience what it was like for their tūpuna.
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