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Inaugural National Waka Hourua Festival Launched

Te Hau Kōmaru chair Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr has announced the first National WakaHourua Festival to be held in Tauranga, 19-23 May 2021.

The first National Waka Hourua Festival Te Hau Komaru will be held in Tauranga from 19-23 May 2021.

Te Hau Kōmaru chair Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr launched the new festival from Porirua, Wellington on May 2nd.

He says the festival aims to raise awareness about waka hourua and all the things connected to it. “This festival has a strong matauranga theme which includes environmental awareness, astronomy, hauora, creative arts and community connectivity.”

“By the end of the festival we hope to have increased people's understanding of the types of knowledge systems associated with this practice and to see learning pathways developed that all young people in Aotearoa are able to follow.”

Te Puna o Rangiriri, the voyaging trust of Pwo navigator Jack Thatcher, will be hosting the festival in Tauranga.

Thatcher says the festival is a celebration of all things waka hourua. “It’s a chance for people to learn more about waka and some of the things we’ve been doing, like voyaging across the ocean to reconnect with ancestral homelands, with Hawaiki.


  • Te Hau Kōmaru started in Kawhia with Hinemoana waka, under the direction of Te Toki Voyaging Trust, sailing to Waitohi-Picton to support the Long Distance Waka Ama Nationals and organisers Ngā Kaihoe o Aotearoa and Te Waka o Aoraki.
  • Hinemoana then sailed to Mohua Golden Bay and onto Porirua where they are being hosted by Ngāti Toa Rangatira at Hongoeka Marae.
  • Hinemoana and her crew will then sail on May 5 to Ahuriri-Napier, and then onto Turanganui a Kiwa-Gisborne, where she will be joined by Tai Rawhiti Waka to sail to Mōtītī Island where they will be met by Haunui Waka (from Tamaki Makaurau-Auckland) and Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti Waka (from Tauranga).
  • The fleet will then sail to Tauranga Moana, where they will be welcomed by the Waka Taua Tākitimu and local waka tangata.
  • The national waka hourua festival Te Hau Kōmaru runs from May 19th-23rd with school and public interactive events on the 20th and 21st of May held at the Tauranga Bridge Marina, 101 Te Awanui Drive, Harbour Bridge Marina. There will also be an open public day on May 22nd. There will be book launches and the debut of a waiata and video from IA Maori Music, and Tauranga Library events.
  • Te Hau Kōmaru is an interim board of Waka Hourua experts charged with forming a national waka hourua strategy, establishing a national entity, and organising supporting events. The board was formed in response to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s commitment to support the continued development of waka kaupapa and voyaging throughout Aotearoa.

Full details can be found on tehaukomaru.org.

© Scoop Media

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