12 Sep 2017

Iconic Cook Islands vaka off to NZ for repairs after fire

5:15 pm on 12 September 2017

The iconic Cook Islands Te Marumaru Atua vaka was sent to New Zealand for repairs after being damaged by fire earlier this month.

Double hulled vaka marumaru atua Rarotonga, Cook Islands 2010.

Photo: Teinesavaii

No one was injured, but significant damage was caused to the starboard hull, which is where the crew sleep.

The secretary of the Cook Island Voyaging Society Cecile Marten said the cause of the fire is unknown and an investigation is underway.

Ms Marten said the traditional voyaging vaka is set to be shipped to New Zealand for repairs.

"We were fortunate we had one of the builders from Salthouse (boat builders, NZ) was here on holiday and popped down to have a look on Monday at the vaka."

"I just received a initial assessment that they don't believe that we can repair the hull. It looks like we are replacing the hull completely," she said.

Ms Marten said that this will be a very long and expensive process.

Tairawhiti Voyaging Society from Gisborne in New Zealand are having a replica built of the Te Marumaru Atua vaka by Salthouse Boatbuilders to attend the New Zealand Festival in Wellington next February.

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