17 May 2013

Far North iwi to welcome the Waka Tapu expedition

7:20 pm on 17 May 2013

Far North iwi will welcome the Waka Tapu expedition back to Aotearoa after completing an epic return journey from Rapanui, or Easter Island.

In May last year two double-hulled waka hourua Te Aurere and Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti set off from Auckland viaduct to complete the last leg of the Polynesian Triangle using only the stars, moon, sun, ocean currents and marine life to guide them on the 10,000 nautical mile adventure.

The crew successfully made it to Rapanui in December - where they were given an emotional welcome reconnecting them with their Easter Island cousins.

Waka Tapu organiser Karl Johnstone of the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute says after the powhiri at Doubtless Bay on Saturday afternoon, the institute's fourth wananga which will teach waka building and navigation will be opened.

He says the day will mark the opening of Te Wananga-a-Kupe Mai Tawhiti , and will also celebrate the work of Hector Busby - one of the last traditional waka builders and navigators alive.