December 16, 2022
Kupe Waka Centre open for business
After years in the making, a whare wananga for waka building and navigation is on course to open for students in the new year
The Kupe Waka Centre at Aurere in the far north is the culimination of the vision of the late Sir Hekenukumai Busby.
Hekenukumai Ngaiwi Trust chair Stanley Conrad says last Saturday’s opening ceremony included whanau of the Hawaiian waka Hoku’lea – whose journey to Aotearoa on 1985 inspired Sir Hec’s own journey of discovery.
Sine then Maori have built seven ocean-going waka and made their own contributions to the revival of Polynesian navigation.
“You know we got Te Auerere we got Nga Hiraka Mai Tawhiti, we got Haunui, we got Hinemoana, we got Aotearoa I, we got mo Te Tai Rawhiti, and we got Te Matau a Maui. So we got some big voyaging waka and now we’re just carrying through in this – fulfilling those dreams of Hector’s,” Mr Conrad says.