31 Jul 2012

More waka exchanges on the horizon - waka captain

7:16 pm on 31 July 2012

One of the captains of the largest traditional Maori sailing canoe says there are plans to have more exchanges with native American tribes to hold waka regattas in each country, and learn about different canoe construction techniques.

Chappy Harrison of Kaitaia led the waka taua (traditional war canoe) Te Hono Ki Aotearoa on the Thames river last month as part of the Queen's 60th Diamond Jubilee River Pageant.

Both him and Joe Conrad also captain New Zealand's largest waka, Ngatokimatawhaorua.

He says Maori already have a good rapport with First Nations peoples in North America, but there are opportunities for more cultural exchanges.

Mr Harrison says in the long term the goal is to have waka in the United States built by native Americans, and for a North American canoe built by Maori here in Aotearoa, so that both groups can have a genuine waka exchange.

He says the main aim is to strengthen and maintain indigenous relationships.