Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Government invests in kaupapa waka hourua

Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister
Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage

4 February 2020 PĀNUI PĀPĀHO


More New Zealanders are set to learn about the incredible navigational and voyaging prowess of early Māori and Pacific settlers who arrived here more than seven centuries ago.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today announced $1.75 million over three years to set up a National Body of kaupapa waka hourua experts to strengthen the mātauranga and tikanga or knowledge in Māori and Pacific voyaging traditions.

“During Tuia 250 I saw the immense pride across Aotearoa as we commemorated our country’s voyaging history, and I’m proud today that the Government will support the waka community to ensure this knowledge is not lost – but elevated.

“It is special too that this comes exactly one year after the investiture of the late Sir Hekenukumai Busby, who was recognised for his crucial contribution to the revival of waka building and voyaging both here and across the Pacific.

“We honour his legacy by giving kaupapa waka hourua a stronger foundation and ultimately a sustainable future,” Jacinda Ardern said.

The investment comes on the back of the success of last year’s national commemoration Tuia 250, in which waka hourua crews and celestial navigators showcased their skills to more than 40,000 New Zealanders in 14 different communities during a three-month voyage around the New Zealand coastline.

Notes to editors

• Waka hourua are double-hulled voyaging canoes by which New Zealand’s earliest settlers arrived from Polynesia more than seven centuries ago. Traditional navigators use observations of signs in nature, such as the stars, sun, moon, waves, birds and marine life, in an expert and ancient practice that requires years of training to master.

• The revival of traditional waka voyaging across the Pacific is only a few decades old and has been under significant strain in New Zealand due to competition for limited resources and reliance on volunteers. The new government funding aims to build capability in governance and management, support the practitioners and practices, with the aim of long-term and sustainable survival for the kaupapa.

• There are five active voyaging trusts looking after six working waka hourua in New Zealand. Most rely on significant volunteer labour and ad hoc financial support. Trusts deliver voyage education programmes to communities throughout New Zealand. Collectively, these programmes engage an estimated 100,000 children, young people and their whānau each year. Trusts also undertake commercial sailing opportunities and seek sponsorship and philanthropic support to sustain their operations.

• With the passing of Tā Hekenukumai Busby in 2019, there are now only nine recognised pwo (Pō) navigators in the revival of traditional voyaging and non-instrument navigation across the Pacific. Just two live in New Zealand: John (Jack) Thatcher and Piripi Smith. Seven to eight years of training are required before a navigator can be considered for this honour.

• Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage will be the lead agency working closely with the Office for Māori Crown Relations – Te Arawhiti and other agencies to oversee this initiative. Up to a third of the funding will be allocated to waka voyaging events and activities, while the balance will be directed towards understanding how to sustain the kaupapa now and into the future. The National Body will consult with stakeholders to develop a long-term strategy, and present business case options for its implementation.

• The Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla travelled around the country from October to December last year. Hundreds of Kiwis experienced waka hourua voyaging as Tuia 250 Trainees onboard Haunui, Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti and the Tahitian vessel Fa’afaite. More information is at


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Government: Traffic Light Levels Announced

The levels at which different parts of New Zealand will move forward into the COVID-19 Protection Framework this Friday have been announced. Northland, Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki Districts, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts will move in at Red... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Why An Attack On Iran Is Back On The Agenda

Reportedly, Christopher Luxon has the edge on Simon Bridges in National’s leadership contest although there is no firm evidence for that hunch. So, one hesitates about joining a media echo chamber that amplifies Luxon’s chances ahead of the 3pm caucus meeting today. You know how it goes: Luxon doesn’t quite have the numbers, so his people start talking to the media to make him seem like the smart bet. Or even perhaps: Luxon hasn't got the numbers, and his people start talking to the media to talk up his support so that he gets a nicer consolation prize... More>>


National: Christopher Luxon Elected Party Leader
Christopher Luxon has been elected Leader of the New Zealand National Party, alongside Nicola Willis as Deputy Leader. “It is a tremendous privilege to lead our great party, and I thank my colleagues for the confidence they have placed in me,” Mr Luxon says... More>>

Government: New Law Will Clear The Air For Tamariki In Vehicles
From today, it’s illegal to smoke or vape in most vehicles carrying children aged under 18 years old - whether the vehicle is moving or not. “Second-hand smoke poses an unacceptable risk to our tamariki and rangatahi,” Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said... More>>

Government: Workplace Vaccination Requirements Extended To Cover Police And NZ Defence Force

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today that workplace vaccination requirements will be extended to include the New Zealand Police and Defence Force in preparation for the transition to the new COVID-19 Protection Framework on 3 December 2021... More>>

Freedom Camping: Making Sure People Are Up To Play With Changes
People interested in finding out how the proposed improvements to freedom camping might affect them are being invited to an information-sharing webinar... More>>

AUT: Aucklanders Are Less Concerned With Covid
In reaction to commentary that Aucklanders are at breaking point after more than 100 days in lockdown and that compliance with the rules is under threat, AUT Emeritus Professor of Sociology Charles Crothers says... More>>

National: Launches First Step To World-class Tech Sector

Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins says technology will create exciting careers and higher paying jobs and has the potential to transform the New Zealand economy... More>>




InfoPages News Channels