Hekenukumai Busby, master waka carver

From Nine To Noon, 10:12 am on 25 May 2015

Hekenukumai Busby
Top: 33 Nga Toki 1974, Hec amidships, Walter front right. Bottom left: whaikorero at Kerikeri stone house. Bottom right: With Dan Whiu, carving canoe house.

Hekenukumai Busby, known as Hec, is a master waka carver, a Maori leader and an authority on Polynesian and Maori celestial navigation. He’s crafted more than 30 waka, and was awarded an MBE in recognition of his role in the revival of ocean voyaging and navigation using traditional Polynesian double hull canoes.

From humble beginnings in the Far North, Hec was inspired to build waka after a childhood visit to Waitangi.

Now 82, he’s the subject of a new book by Jeff Evans, called Heke-nuku-mai-nga-iwi Busby: Not Here by Chance.

Hek Busby talks to Kathryn Ryan about his life and work.

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