War canoe resurfaces from 23yr hiatus for Waitangi Day

War canoe resurfaces from 23yr hiatus for Waitangi Day


It’s been 23 years since
the last time the Te Arawa war canoe participated in
the Waitangi Day regatta. This year, they’ll join the throng
of waka to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. Paora Te Hurihanganui
and Pererika Makiha were chosen by Te Arawa elders
to manage the special occasion that has been three years
in the making, taking three months
to prepare, and now they’re ready to
put it into action. It’s a hefty job placed
on the shoulders of these two men to get the war canoe, Te Arawa,
back in the running for Waitangi Day celebrations. He’s talking about the 150th
celebration of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. Te Arawa was one of the waka
that answered the call. There was celebration,
but there was also protest, which is why Te Arawa hasn’t
taken part for a long time. The call for paddlers went out,
and the response was overwhelming. While time has passed,
Te Arawa protocol still stands. If you look closely at the carvings,
they depict scenes of battle, and for that reason, women are not allowed
to board the waka. Although Te Arawa will make
the journey to Waitangi alongside the canoe Tieke, which will carry some female rowers. For Pererika Makiha,
going to Waitangi isn’t new, but as for the rest,
it’ll be a new experience. For now, it’s about making sure
she is in ship-shape for the long journey north
starting on Sunday. Tini Molyneux, Te Karere.

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