16 Aug 2012

Waka Tapu expedition expected to unite NZ and Chile

6:45 pm on 16 August 2012

Chile's envoy to New Zealand says an epic waka voyage from Aotearoa to Easter Island, or Rapanui will bring the two countries even closer - despite being separated by the vast Pacific Ocean.

Two double hulled canoes carrying a crew of 24 will set sail from Auckland on Friday morning guided only by the moon, the stars and the tides to complete the last leg of the Polynesian triangle.

Rapanui is a territory of Chile, governed from the mainland.

Isauro Torres says he's delighted about the Waka Tapu expedition because New Zealand and Chile will become even more united.

He says he can just imagine the fuss in Rapanui in eight to nine weeks time when the two waka arrive to a big welcome.

Mr Torres says the expedition talks about everything including friendship, culture, and challenges and is another example of the connection between the two countries.

He says there has always been a historical connection between Maori and Rapanui people, and this journey will renew that.