Historic visit to Te Waipounamu for Haunui waka
When Haunui sails down the east coast of Te Waipounamu this month, it will be the first time in hundreds of years that an ocean-going waka hourua has been in these waters, apart from a two-day wānanga in 2010.
After completing a 25,000 nautical mile voyage as part of the seven-strong fleet for Te Mana O Te Moana, a voyage across the Pacific to raise awareness of the state of the ocean, Haunui returned to Auckland where Hoturoa Barclay- Kerr (Tainui) began to raise funds to allow Te Toki Voyaging Trust to purchase the waka, says Brendon Flack from Puketeraki who joined Haunui for the voyage across the Pacific.
“Haunui is a pan-Pacific waka and our kaihautū Hoturoa made a commitment to the crew who had sailed on Haunui that he would bring the waka to visit our shores and marae one day,” Brendan says.
“Aside from the constraints of weather affecting the travel of a large voyaging waka, it is important to have a large base of capable, passionate sailors who are able to crew our canoe wherever and whenever needed.
“When Haunui sails into our waters, he will feed the fire that was sparked when Kaumoana Kāi Tahu was launched several years ago to provide Kāi Tahu rangatahi with the opportunities to sail as their ancestors did.”
The voyage will be a continuous wānanga for Kāi Tahu sailors, supported by the Ngāi Tahu Fund. Activities will include marine monitoring, environmental education, whakapapa, and navigation. Haunui will stop at Kaikōura, Okains Bay, Puketeraki, and Awarua, and there will be opportunities to go on board and to sail.