Launch of Whakaruru Te Hau

On April 25 we received the waka tete, named ‘Whakaruru Te Hau’ by its creator Hekenukumai Busby.  The waka was launched immediately, crewed by Te Kāpehu Whetū akonga and pouako, to the glorious singing of our Paenuku babies and our Paerangi rangatahi.


Video kindly provided by Te Tai Tokerau Tarai Waka


Charter school lands their waka

Te Taitokerau Tārai Waka have sold their traditional-waka at the price of $100,000.

The traditional waka known as a waka-tēte built by tohunga-tārai waka Hekenukumai Busby was auctioned to raise funds for the school of traditional navigation at Aurere in Doubtless Bay.

Hekenukumai Busby says, “It’s gonna help us get our Whare Wānanga completed which will help continue teaching our students to learn more about celestial navigation.”

Whangarei charter school Te Kāpehu Whetū Principal Dr Nathan Mathews says the waka was bought by its sponsor He Puna Mārama Trust and will be used as part of the school’s hauora programme.

“It’ll help towards traditional navigation and mātauranga Māori” says Dr Mathews.

The official hand-over of the waka-tēte will take place tomorrow on Anzac day, but before that happens the school which houses more than 110 students will be having its badging of new cadets into its Leadership Academy of A Company.

Dr Mathews says it’s a ceremony very similar to a military parade where cadets are presented to their whānau and are officially given the academy-tohu to wear. “As part of the badging parade, current cadets are eligible for promotion within military type ranks,” says Dr Mathews.

The badging ceremony will take place this afternoon at the Te Kāpehu Whetū campus in Whangarei and the official launch of their new waka-tēte will take place tomorrow in Aurere, Doubtless Bay. Senior Reporter Heeni Brown will have more on Te Kāea 5:30pm.


See video here.

Originally presented by Te Kaea reporter Heeni Brown 


waka ama practice

Waka ama: North well represented on Blue Lake

Rotorua’s Blue Lake transformed into a sea of colour and noise last week as New Zealand’s top secondary school waka ama paddlers battled it out for national honours.

More than 1450 paddlers took to the water, including Northland’s Kerikeri High School, Taipa Area School, Te Kura Hourua o Whangarei Terenga Paraoa, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o te Tonga O Hokianga, Whangarei Girls’ High School and Whangarei Boys’ High School.

St Patricks College Silverstream smashed the under-19 250m Boys W6 Championship final, winning with a record time of 53.09, and securing their first medal at the event with a flawless performance on the water.

Gisborne schools also proved they were a force to be reckoned with.

Lytton High School took gold in the 250m and 500m of the U16 girl’s W6 competition and Gisborne Girls’ High School achieved the same in the U19 division.

Gisborne Boys’ High School also took home the U16 500m W6 title.

Lara Collins, chief executive of Waka Ama New Zealand, described this year’s racing as some of the most thrilling she’d seen in the regatta’s 14-year history.

“We had some incredibly tight racing – a true display of grit and determination. The weather was fabulous and provided perfect racing conditions.

“The noise from the crowd watching the finals was simply electric and made for an extremely exciting end to the week’s racing.

“Waka ama racing continues to break into new territory as more kids sign up to paddle for their schools or local clubs. We saw last week how passionate they are about representing their schools.”

A full list of results can be found at

This weekend will mark the return of the waka ama long-distance nationals to Northland.

The event will be based out of Marsden Cove Marina and is set to run on April 4-5.


Originally published in the Northern Advocate, Tuesday March 31, 2015
Photo: Te Kapehu Whetu of Te Kura Hourua o Whangarei Terenga Paraoa compete in their under-19 Boys’ W6 250m heat.