December 30, 2021
Whanganui Tira Hoe event cancelled for 2022
The Tira Hoe Waka annual pilgrimage up the Whanganui River has been cancelled for only the second time in more than 30 years due to Covid.
Tira Hoe Waka executive committee chair Hayden Potaka says the low percentage of Māori vaccinated in the Whanganui district, and concerns on numbers had led them to reluctantly postpone this year’s trek up the Whanganui River.
Usually they take 100 to 140 people up the river each summer. As well there are the local people involved from the marae and settlements along the awa as well as the support staff and roadies.
“We made this decision to preserve the lives of our people.”
Tira Hoe Waka is usually a 15-day event held every January with waka and kayaks travelling the Whanganui River. Along the way they visit marae and wāhi tapu, learning the stories and history of the awa from Taumarunui to Whanganui city.
The Whanganui river is the third longest river in Aotearoa and in March 2017 was given its own legal identity, with the rights, duties and liabilities of a legal person.
Tira Hoe Waka have plans in place for the future of this unique venture which ties those who whakapapa to the area with their awa and history.
“We are going to have to live with Covid and now with Omicron so we are making plans from February on to ensure we maintain our ties for our people, to our awa.”