8 Nov 2012

Pacific voyage rekindles kinship ties

6:36 am on 8 November 2012

A Waka Tapu crew member says the hospitality shown by the people of Mangareva Island helped to reconnect them with their Pacific Island relatives and proves how much in common they have with each other.

The Waka Tapu expedition has now left Mangareva in French Polynesia, their last stop en route to Easter Island on an epic return journey to re-discover the ancient maritime feats of their Pacific ancestors.

Jack Thatcher says his team were overwhelmed by the kindness of the tangata whenua who were able to communicate with them when they spoke to them in Maori.

He says the locals opened the whole island to them, brought them lots of food and made sure his crew had a proper rest.

Mr Thatcher says the Maori speakers in his crew were able to have conversations with the Mangareva people because their language is closer to New Zealand Maori than Tahitian is.

The expedition now has another 1400km to paddle before they reach Easter Island.