Te Huia and Tawera Taylor were well on their way to the National Waka Ama Championships in Karāpiro this week, but now the paddlers are on the hunt for their custom made paddles which were stolen from their car.
On Saturday, their car was stolen in Pukekohe and while the car has been returned, some very special items are still missing.
Te Huia Taylor says, “That's the saddest thing, because we use those paddles every day so we won't be used to a new type of paddle.”
Tawera Taylor says, “We've had these paddles since I was about 15 years old and now they're gone. I hope they're returned but I'm not too sure they'll come back to us.”
Both Te Huia and Tawera's paddles were stolen. One paddle is worth $400 but it's not the cost of the paddle that worries them. It's the fact that it's hard to get or make paddles like these.
Te Huia and Tawera Taylor say the paddles were custom made to fit their build and their coach had them specially made.
The paddles were made and used in the World Va'a Championships races in New Caledonia in 2010 and have been used in every competition since.
Te Huia Taylor says, “Those are the only things we want from the car, because they're of sentimental value so please give them back.”
These siblings hope that their paddles will be returned and tomorrow they will be on their way to Lake Karāpiro with only one day until the open races are held.