During the lead up to the unveiling of this plaque at John Wickliffe Plaza, the Ōtākou office worked extensively with Pouhere taonga/Heritage NZ to bring this commemoration to fruition. Unveiled on 22 March in recognition of the site’s importance and place in New Zealand’s national identity, the Toitū Tauraka Waka was one of several Kāti Māmoe-Kāi Tahu landing places in the Otago Harbour at the time of colonial settlement in the Otago region. Situated beside the Toitū Creek, the tauraka waka site provided a softly sloped beach for landing waka, a good point of entry to the surrounding bush and mahika kai, as well as access to fresh water. [Read more…]

On 7 June our whānau hosted the first of two waka/reo fun days for the year. We had a turnout of young and old, ranging from beginners to confident paddlers. Tama-nui-te-rā was also out, which made our day on our awa, Waikouaiti an awesome day.

Activities included learning karakia, ngeri, listening to local waka stories, collecting rubbish on Ōhinepouwera, waka races and eating kai. [Read more…]

Samples from processed tī kouka fibre found within the hull of the Papanui waka were sent off for radiocarbon dating to determine the approximate age of the waka.

Radiocarbon dating measures the ratio of carbon-14 to carbon-12 isotopes, and is a pretty reliable method of dating taoka that used carbon exchange while in use. The ratio of carbon-14 to carbon-12 is relatively equal. Once the organism dies, the carbon-14 isotopes slowly decay and revert to carbon-12.

Radiocarbon dating works out how long since the ratios were equal. The tī kouka fibre is more reliable to date than wood samples from the hull, and, gives a pretty good indication of the age of the waka by association.

Rūnanga members and archaeologists alike were pretty confident that the waka was most likely from the Kāti Māmoe occupation of Papanui Inlet, roughly around 250 years ago, although one very conservative person didn’t believe the waka would be any older than contact period – the time when the first Europeans were interacting with Māori on the peninsula, from 1810 on.

Huge surprise then, when the radiocarbon dating showed the fibre to be around 450 years old. [Read more…]

In August, I was lucky enough to represent Aotearoa New Zealand at the World Waka Ama Championships held at the 2016 Olympic course in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

This was the 16th world championship event – the first was held in California in 1984. This year, over 20 countries attended including favourites Tahiti, as well as Hawaii, Australia and our hosts Brazil. Smaller but talented nations included Rapanui (Easter Island), New Caledonia and the Pacific North West (Native American tribes spanning both USA and Canada). European countries included England, Italy and a few from the Ukraine.   [Read more…]

Tōia mai te waka

On Anzac Day 25 April, the waka haurua ‘Haunui’ arrived in the estuary and settled on the Waikouaiti awa. There was a big turnout of locals, the wider community and friends to witness and be a part of the arrival. Our tamariki performed the haka pōwhiri “Tōia mai’.

Over the past few years our very own Brendon Flack has been a part of the waka kaupapa, sailing throughout the Pacific and also over to San Francisco. It was from there that he became known to the crew as ‘Uncle B” or “The Top Master Chef on the waka. Our whānau here at Puketeraki were very fortunate to spend a week with the waka and the crew, who were from all different parts of the Pacific. Kāti Huirapa ki Puketeraki, whānau, friends and the wider community would like to thank the Haunui waka crew for their time, commitment, and the love they have for this kaupapa that is our past and forever will be our future, nō reira e āku kauhoe e mau nei ki ngā tikanga a kui mā a koro mā, nei te reo mihi ki a koutou katoa. [Read more…]

Thanks to the Ngāi Tahu Fund and Te Toki Voyaging Trust, Hauteruruki ki Puketeraki Inc. Society are proud to announce that Haunui, one of seven waka that sailed across the Pacific Ocean in a voyage ‘Te Mana o Te Moana’, is on its way to Te Waipounamu from the north. In fact, by the time you read this, Haunui will be somewhere between Napier and Kaikōura.

See below for the sail plan for Haunui’s Te Waipounamu journey, which includes the dates the waka will be berthed in each port – although these dates may alter slightly, depending on weather conditions at sea. The waka will be sailing into Karitāne around 13 March and heading to Bluff on around the 18 March, returning to Karitane at the end of that month before heading back up north. [Read more…]