Government invests in kaupapa waka hourua

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.