Waka Hourua serves as education vessel

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

Tairāwhiti Waka Hourua is presenting a Māori narrative for the 2019 Tuia Encounters 250, which commemorates the first contact between Māori and Pākehā, by educating the public about traditional Tairāwhiti navigation.

Chief executive of Tairāwhiti Voyaging Trust, Te Aturangi Nepia Clamp says, “We want to engage with them and we want to teach them the skills, the amazing knowledge that our ancestors had 7000 years ago, starting right over near Taiwan and so forth, and extending out from there, sailing west to east and exploring, discovering and settling the largest ocean in the world."

The educational programme will cater for 8000 Te Tairāwhiti students from Muriwai to Pōtaka and is also open to all members of the public.

Chairman of Tairāwhiti Voyaging Trust, Owen Lloyd says, “The vessel can bring Māori and Pākehā together when they see our waka, they carefully consider the strength of our ancestors who navigated The Great Ocean of Kiwa."

Day-sails teach youth the practical skills of sailing, to apply maths to calculate distance and read the environment.

Te Aturangi Nepia Clamp says, “We want to instil in these young people that our ancestors did that, what they have running through their veins is that same DNA, they can do anything, they just need to apply themselves."

Tairāwhiti Waka Hourua has teamed up with Te Hā Trust in Tūranganui a Kiwa who are driving the Tuia Encounters 250.

Multiple events will take place over the course of the year and signify 250 years since the arrival of English explorer Captain Cook to Aotearoa.

Manager of Te Hā Trust, Glennis Phillip-Barbara says, “It's not that the narrative about Cook is the main focus, it's much larger than that and this vessel is a symbol of the ancient traditions of our ancestors."

The next open day for Tairāwhiti Waka Hourua is on the 26th and 27th of January.