October 03, 2022
Wahine to skipper waka hourua voyage
The 30th anniversary of the voyaging waka Te Aurere is being celebrated with a host of events including a circumnavigation of Te Ika a Maui by the late Sir Hekenukumai Busby’s second waka hourua, Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti .
In a first, it will be captained by his grand-niece Joelene Busby and her niece Terissa Busby.
They’ll sail from Tauranga to the Bay of Islands for the 2022 Long Distance Waka Ama Nationals, and then around North Cape to Kāwhia for Te Hau Kōmaru Festival on to Poneke to visit the Te Aurere replica held by Te Papa Tongarewa.
From there it’s back up the east coast to Te Aurere in Doubtless Bay in the far north, where in the second week of December there will be a celebration marking that first trip to Rarotonga 30 years ago.
Joelene Busby says she’s both scared excited by the prospect of doing the trip on the 20-year-old waka, which has had an extensive refit.
“She still sails beautifully, cruises on the water. When you’ve got a good crew that can help you sail she just cruises, flies across the water,” she says.