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Sailing Waka To Be Launched At Kawhia

Media Release
14 October 2003

Stephen Ward
Media Relations Manager
The University of Waikato

Sailing Waka To Be Launched At Kawhia

A unique 25-foot sailing waka known as a tipairua is to be launched at Maketû marae at Kâwhia this Saturday by the Te Toki Voyaging Trust which works with rangatahi (youth) in the Waikato region.

The Trust’s Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr, a senior tutor in Waikato University’s School of Mâori and Pacific Development, says: “The sailing waka, based on the traditional double hulled sailing canoe designs of Eastern Central Polynesia, will be used to help rangatahi gain an understanding of the value of traditional knowledge and science and how to put this knowledge into practical use while working within a group.

“We’ve used small outrigger sailing waka in the Waikato and larger double hulled voyaging canoes in Hawaii before to help teach rangatahi about general waka concepts and how to sail waka. However, we’ve decided investing in our own will make sailing much more accessible for our young people and save the trust money in the long term,” says Hoturoa.

The design for the tipairua is based on drawings Hoturoa has researched on sailing waka from the area the Tainui sailing waka is thought to have come from in the South Pacific.

It has been built by Coromandel boatbuilder Gary Dierking who, like Hoturoa, has a long interest in the indigenous sailing craft of the Pacific.

The new tipairua is due to arrive at Maketû marae at about 11am on Thursday 16 October.

Rigging and preparation of the vessel will continue on Friday and then it is due to be launched at 5am on Saturday.


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