Native Affairs – On the Waka

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

Native Affairs was aboard Te Matau a Māui, a double-hulled waka that spent three days tracking the Amazon Warrior, the largest seismic testing ship in the world. The crew of activists confronted the ship yesterday off the East Coast of the North Island returning to Napier this morning.

The protestors say the purpose of the trip was to send a message to surveyors Statoil and Chevron, demanding they leave Ikaroa-Rāwhiti waters immediately.

Te Matau-a-Māui delegation member Tina Ngata claims vividly hearing the vessel as it used seismic booms on the ocean floor as it searched for oil.

"You could hear it, you could hear the cracks. It sounded like somebody letting off dynamite. It was a full on experience."

Native Affairs reporter Wepiha Te Kanawa joined the crew for the three-day journey saying the voyage wasn’t an easy one.

“I was a bit nervous about this work. The sea was battering our waka, and the wind was strong on the sails of Te Matau-a-Māui.”