Waka Tapu

The Voyage to Rapanui

Over a thousand years in the making. 10,000 nautical miles across the world's most expanisve ocean. Guided by the habits of the stars, currents, sun and moon. Two traditional double hulled sailing canoes. 24 voyagers following in the wake of their ancestors. One legacy... closing the Polynesian Triangle.   Te Ara ki te Pito o te Whenua | Voyage to Rapanui

About

In late August 2012, a historically significant voyage will begin, leaving the shores of Aotearoa New Zealand and destined for Rapanui (Easter Island).

The Team

Patron

Sir Tumu Te Heuheu

Paramount Chief of Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Sir Tumu Te Heuheu, has graciously accepted the role of Patron for the Waka Tapu project.

Message From Our Patron

Experts

Hekenukumai Puhipi

Hekenukumai (Hek) Ngaiwi Puhipi Busby was born at Pukepoto some 40 km from Aurere on the first day of August 1932. He attended the local Native School where one of his highlights was a visit to Waitangi. There he sat in awe of the waka taua Ngatokimatawhaorua and wondered if he would ever see a waka like that in the water...

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Stanley Conrad

Stanley Conrad (Stan) is from Te Kao in the far north and is the Captain of Te Aurere. Stan’s first ocean sail was on the Hawai’ian waka Hokule’a in 1985. Stan is one of the foremost captains of traditional ocean-going, double-hull canoes in the Pacific...

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Jack Thatcher

Jack Thatcher is based in Tauranga and is of Ngai-te-Rangi, Ngati Ranginui, Ngati Porou and Te Aitanga a Hauiti descent. Since joining the Te Aurere whanau in the late 80’s he has accumulated more than 35,000 nautical miles of deep-ocean and coastal voyaging experience...

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Project Director

Karl Johnstone

As Director of the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute (NZMACI) Karl is responsible for leading the strategic direction of NZMACI and ensuring the institute meets its legislative responsibilities...

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Crew - 1st leg

Crew listing for Te Aurere me Ngahiraka-Mai-Tawhiti - first leg

Jack Thatcher (Tauranga Moana) - Captain / Navigator

Stanley Conrad (Te Tai Tokerau) - Captain

Kiharoa Nuku (Tauranga Moana) - Watch Captain

Mahara Nicholas (Tauranga Moana) - Watch Captain

Brian Wiki (Te Tai Tokerau) - Watch Captain

Piripi Smith (Kahungunu) - Navigator

Regan Fairlie (Te Tairawhiti) - Medic

Rahi Tamati (Taranaki) - Medic

Kushla Allen (Whare Kaura / Tauranga Moana) - Radio Ops

Jacob de Beurs (Te Tai Tokerau) - Radio Ops

Nathan Foote (Te Tairawhiti) Handyman

Moko Henare (Te Tai Tokerau) - Handyman

Haimona Brown (Te Tai Tokerau) - Quartermaster

Candice Paewai (Tamaki Nui a Rua) - Quartermaster

Gerry Smith (Te Tairawhiti) - Fisherwoman

Tahi Iwikau (Tuwharetoa)

Toiora Hawira (Whanganui)

Johnson Tumai (Tahiti)

Te Miroa Mohi (Waiariki)

Ani Black (Waikato / Tauranga Moana)

Waka

Te Aurere and Ngahiraka

Te Aurere

Since its inception in 1990, Te Aurere has become an international symbol for cultural revitalisation and connectivity for peoples throughout the Pacific Ocean.
Te Aurere has sailed over 30,000 nautical miles, visiting Hawaii, French Polynesia, the Cook Islands, New Caledonia and Norfolk Island, as well as making countless circumnavigations of the North Island of New Zealand.

Ngahiraka mai Tawhiti

In 2000 Hector began the build of a second waka hourua, Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti, named after his late wife, with a view to ‘closing the Polynesian Triangle’ by sailing to Rapanui (Easter Island).  Now complete, Ngahiraka will play a vital role in terms of supporting Te Aurere to complete this voyage.

The Historical Background

Settling the Poynesian Triangle

Human exploration into the Pacific Ocean started over 40,000 years ago when the first people arrived in Australia and New Guinea. Approximately 3,000 years ago explorers – probably from South-east Asia – moved eastwards across the Pacific into what we know today as Polynesia.

The diverse societies of Polynesia, defined by the Polynesian Triangle – Hawaii in the North, Rapanui (Easter Island) in the East and New Zealand in the South-west – share a common origin influenced by this major migration and many other voyages from disparate corners of the globe.

The early inhabitants of the Pacific left big clues to their origins. Some clues are found in the physical remains from the past, such as lapita pottery. Others are found in the arts, oral histories, languages, and genes of today’s Pacific people.

First Arrivals in Aotearoa

There is much debate about Māori arrival in New Zealand. Popular belief is that the ancestors of Māori arrived in New Zealand between six and eleven hundred years ago.

After spending time exploring the islands of New Zealand, early explorers from the Pacific then returned to their places of origin, taking with them the knowledge of how to get here. This knowledge comprised star maps, the flight paths of birds such as the Kuaka (Limosa lapponica), the migration patterns of whales, and tidal movements amongst other environmental indicators. Many place, tribal, mountain and river names in New Zealand are a direct reflection of names still maintained in the Pacific Islands.

Although many early historians recorded Māori arrival in New Zealand as an accident, there is no doubt arrival to and from this country over successive generations was deliberate and planned.

Kupe

A thousand years ago the great Polynesian voyager Kupe made an epic journey across the Pacific Ocean to a new land. Kupe took fragments of knowledge handed down from other ancestor navigators and formed an ocean map that would assist future generations to travel deep into the Pacific to a place named by his wife Kuramarotini as ‘Aotearoa’. Many traces remain of Kupe’s encounter with this place. They can be found in the names of landmarks across the country.

He ao, he ao, he ao tea, he ao tea roa! | Kuramarotini

A cloud, a cloud, a white cloud, a long white cloud!

Hekenukumai Busby and The Birth of Te Aurere

Hekenukumai Busby

On 8 December 1985, the Hawaiian voyaging waka Hōkūle'a sails into Waitangi Harbour, and Hekenukumai Busby witnesses its historic arrival. He’s inspired to build a similar vessel. Knowing of Hekenukumai’s interest, John Rangihau, a well-known New Zealand academic and Māori leader from Ngā Tūhoe, puts Hekenukumai in touch with the Hawaiian navigators, who provide crucial support.

Te Aurere’s blueprint began to take shape, and after rigorous sea trials, Te Aurere left on its maiden voyage to Rarotonga in 1992.

Te Aurere made landfall at Ngā Tang‘ia Harbour, in Rarotonga, to an emotional welcome. The then Cook Islands Prime Minister, Geoffrey Henry, says:

‘Seven hundred and fifty years ago your ancestors left here for Aotearoa, and today you have returned – so welcome home.’

Te Aurere Arrival in Tahiti

On 18 March 1995, Te Aurere led a fleet of waka to Taputapuātea Marae on the island of Raiātea, Tahiti.

According to oral histories, a great meeting of Pacific navigators took place here 645 years earlier. During that event, a Māori person was killed in a dispute, and a tohunga (spiritual expert) placed a restriction (tapu) on the island and its approach waters. In an historic ceremony, Te Ao Pehi Kara, a tohunga from Waikato, lifted the tapu as Te Aurere entered the Te Ava Mo‘a Channel, within the Raiātea Lagoon.

Throughout the journeys, the crew of Te Aurere experience links with the peoples they meet – in language, in sense of family, in identity. These voyages are also inspirational, fostering interest in waka, as well as traditional navigation methods in other areas of the Pacific.

News

MAY 21: Waka return from epic voyage
MAY 20: Radio Interview with Waka Tapu Director, Karl Johnstone
MAY 18: Press Release: NZ Government | NZMACI

See News Archives See Navigator's Update

Waka return from epic voyage - 21 May 2013
Northern Advocate News: Tuesday 21 May 2013, 9:08am
Waka return from epic voyage | Peter de Graaf

Two ocean-going waka have returned to Northland after a 10-month, 10,000 nautical mile journey to Rapanui (Easter Island) and back.

The epic journey was a long-held dream of Doubtless Bay master waka-builder Hekenukumai Busby, whose vessels have now sailed all three sides of the Polynesian Triangle linking Aotearoa, Hawaii and Rapanui. The sailors used only the sun, stars, moon, currents and marine life to guide their way.

The waka hourua and their 20 storm-battered sailors arrived at Whatuwhiwhi on Friday night, the first, Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti, at 11.40pm, followed by Te Aurere three hours later. They anchored a few hundred metres offshore, clearing Customs at Mangonui's Mill Bay around 9am on Saturday before continuing the last few kilometres under motor to Mr Busby's property at Aurere. The return journey had taken them via Tahiti and Rarotonga, with a break in between at Moorea to avoid the cyclone season.

image source: The moment Waka Tapu sailor Mahara Nicholas is reunited with his sister Ripeka, 13, after almost ten months at sea - Peter de Graaf

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Significance of Waka Tapu voyage will unfold - 20 May 2013
Waatea News: Monday 20 May 2013, 15:20pm
Significance of Waka Tapu voyage will unfold

The organiser of the Waka Tapu voyage says its significance may take years to emerge.

The two double-hulled waka Te Aurere and Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti returned to Aurere in the far north on Saturday after a 10 month, 10,000 nautical mile journey to Rapanui-Easter Island.

Karl Johnstone, who is the director of the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, says there was great celebration as well as relief that the crew had reached the most remote island in the world and returned home safely.

He says it has closed the Polynesian triangle and proved once again the viability of traditional navigation techniques.

"It’s pretty hard to explain what reaching the most remote island in the world is like but our navigators, particularly Jack Thatcher heading the navigation, shows where he’s at in terms of his knowledge. I don’t think we probably fully appreciate it and it will be in years to come we will look back and reflect on the significance of the voyage," he says.

Mr Johnstone says the voyage strengthened important links between Māori and the people of Rapanui, the easternmost point of Polynesia.

image: Jack Thatcher navigator/captain; source: www.evitan.co.nz

Listen to the Interview

National New Zealand Government - 18 May 2013
Saturday 18 May 2013
www.national.org.nz - New Zealand Government
www.beehive.govt.nz/release/waka-tapu-complete-historic-voyage
www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1305/S00389/waka-tapu-complete-historic-voyage.htm
www.sunlive.co.nz/news/44396-waka-tapu-complete-historic-voyage.html

Associate Tourism Minister Chris Tremain has praised the efforts of the Waka Tapu crew for successfully completing a return voyage to Rapanui (Easter Island).

After spending nearly 200 days at sea, the two waka hourua (traditional double-hulled sailing canoes) arrived back in New Zealand today to an enthusiastic welcome from family, friends and supporters.

“The crew of the two waka travelled 10,000 nautical miles using only celestial navigation to guide them - relying on the stars, moon, sun, ocean currents, bird and marine life, rather than modern technology such as GPS,” says Mr Tremain.

“This is a significant achievement and a true testament to the traditions and skills of tangata whenua. By retracing the journey that their ancestors took, the crew have helped ensure the retention of indigenous navigational and environmental knowledge for future generations of New Zealanders.”

“I offer my heartiest congratulations to Waka Tapu’s crew and their supporters – they should feel an immense sense of pride in their accomplishment.”

READ MORE

Press Release: Waka Tapu Complete Historic Voyage - 18 May 2013
Saturday 18 May 2013, 4:57pm
Press Release: New Zealand Government

Associate Tourism Minister Chris Tremain has praised the efforts of the Waka Tapu crew for successfully completing a return voyage to Rapanui (Easter Island).

After spending nearly 200 days at sea, the two waka hourua (traditional double-hulled sailing canoes) arrived back in New Zealand today to an enthusiastic welcome from family, friends and supporters.

“The crew of the two waka travelled 10,000 nautical miles using only celestial navigation to guide them - relying on the stars, moon, sun, ocean currents, bird and marine life, rather than modern technology such as GPS,” says Mr Tremain.

“This is a significant achievement and a true testament to the traditions and skills of tangata whenua. By retracing the journey that their ancestors took, the crew have helped ensure the retention of indigenous navigational and environmental knowledge for future generations of New Zealanders.”

READ MORE

Waka welcomed home from epic journey - 18 May 2013
www.stuff.co.nz- 15:14pm 18 May

Crew of two traditional waka are back on shore after completing their mammoth 10-month and 10,000 nautical mile voyage through the South Pacific.

Crew of Te Aurere and Ngahiraka mai Tawhiti were formally welcomed back to shore at 2pm, nine months on from when they set out on the 10,000 nautical mile adventure on the high seas.

The crews of the double-hulled sailing canoes - who vary in age from 18-67 - sailed to Easter Island (Rapa Nui) and back, using just the stars, moon, sun, ocean currents, birds and marine to guide them.

Waka Tapu organiser and New Zealand Māori Arts & Crafts Institute NZMACI director, Karl Johnstone said arrival completes a milestone in New Zealand's modern day navigation history.

''The crew has closed the final corner of the Polynesian Triangle defined by Hawaii in the North, New Zealand in the South and Rapanui in the East,'' Johnstone said.

READ MORE

TVNZ One News: Waka crews set for emotional return - 18 May 2013
One News - 8:10am Saturday 18 May

A group of waka sailors are due to arrive in Doubtless Bay in Northland today after completing a ten month historic voyage across the Pacific Ocean in two traditional double hulled waka.

Hundreds of people are expected to greet them.

The group successfully sailed from Auckland's Waitemata Harbour last August to Rapanui (Easter Island), and are now returning, using only the stars, moon, sun, ocean currents, birds and marine life to guide their way on the 10,000 nautical mile adventure.

Waka Tapu organiser and New Zealand Maori Arts & Crafts Institute (NZMACI) director, Karl Johnstone says this weekend's arrival completes a monumental milestone in New Zealand's modern day navigation history.

READ MORE

Far North iwi to welcome the Waka Tapu expedition - 17 May 2013
Radio New Zealand News - 7:20pm 17 May

Far North iwi will welcome the Waka Tapu expedition back to Aotearoa after completing an epic return journey from Rapanui, or Easter Island.

In May last year two double-hulled waka hourua Te Aurere and Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti set off from Auckland viaduct to complete the last leg of the Polynesian Triangle using only the stars, moon, sun, ocean currents and marine life to guide them on the 10,000 nautical mile adventure.

The crew successfully made it to Rapanui in December - where they were given an emotional welcome reconnecting them with their Easter Island cousins.

Waka Tapu organiser Karl Johnstone of the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute says after the powhiri at Doubtless Bay on Saturday afternoon, the institute's fourth wananga which will teach waka building and navigation will be opened.

He says the day will mark the opening of Te Wananga-a-Kupe Mai Tawhiti , and will also celebrate the work of Hector Busby - one of the last traditional waka builders and navigators alive.

Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

LISTEN TO THE NEWS

Waatea News - Voyaging Waka Home Tomorrow - 17 May 2013
Voyaging waka home tomorrow - 12:16pm 17 May

An historic journey from Aotearoa to Rapanui-Easter Island ends tomorrow.

The double-hulled waka Te Aurere and Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti are due to sail in to Doubtless Bay tomorrow morning, completing the 10-month Waka tapu voyage over 10,000 miles of ocean and closing what is known as the Polynesian triangle.

Hekenukumai Busby, whose vision of reviving the ancient navigation skills drove the voyage, says it was hard on crews and boats.

Te Aurere sustained some damage in high seas soon after leaving Auckland on August 17 last year, but it was repaired in Tahiti before the voyage home via Rarotonga.

The occasion will also mark the opening of the New Zealand Māori Arts And Craft Institute’s new wananga at Doubtless Bay, which will teach all aspects of kaupapa waka including waka building and non-instrument navigation.

LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW

Intrepid Waka Crew return to New Zealand This Weekend - 15 May '13
Intrepid Waka Crew to Return to New Zealand this Weekend After 10,000 Nautical Mile Adventure: NZMACI


AUCKLAND, Wednesday 15th May 2013:
A group of courageous waka sailors will arrive in New Zealand this Saturday (18th May) after completing a ten month historic voyage across the Pacific Ocean in two traditional waka hourua (double-hulled sailing canoes).

The crew will sail into Doubtless Bay in Northland via Rarotonga and be welcomed by hundreds of whanau members and supporters.

The group successfully sailed from Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour last August to Rapanui (Easter Island), and are now returning, using only the stars, moon, sun, ocean currents, birds and marine life to guide their way on the 10,000 nautical mile adventure.

Waka Tapu organiser and New Zealand Māori Arts & Crafts Institute (NZMACI) director, Karl Johnstone says this weekend’s arrival completes a monumental milestone in New Zealand’s modern day navigation history.

“The crew has closed the final corner of the Polynesian Triangle defined by Hawaii in the North, New Zealand in the South and Rapanui in the East,” says Johnstone.

“This project also recognises a life’s work by our esteemed tohunga tārai waka (waka building expert), Hekenukumai Busby. Without Hekenukumai and the support given to him from some of our elder statesmen who have now passed on, the likes of the late John Rangihau, Simon Snowden and James Henare, none of this would have been possible.”

The crew’s arrival will also mark the opening of NZMACI’s fourth wānanga, Te Wānanga-a-Kupe Mai Tawhiti, also based in Doubtless Bay. Te Wānanga-a Kupe will teach all aspects of kaupapa waka (waka projects, practices, and activities) including waka building and non-instrument navigation.

Read More

Pacific Voyagers Foundation - 12 February 2013

www.pacificvoyagers.org - 12 February 2013 , Kavika Knight

The arrival of the Waka Tapu canoes in French Polynesia

In August of 2012 our va’a, Faafaite, having just arrived in Auckland, New Zealand, had the privilege of sailing for a short period of time with the waka Te Aurere and Ngahiraka mai Tawhiti as they begun their incredible journey across the Pacific ocean to the far reaches of the Polynesian triangle. Their journey took them over 10,000 nautical miles (18,520 km) with stops in Tubuai(Austral Islands), Mangareva (Gambier Islands), Rapa Nui (Easter Island), before stopping in Tahiti and Moorea on their return to Aotearoa. They navigated, as did our ancestors, following the stars, winds, currents and other elements of nature.

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Sea & Co - 03 February 2013

Sea & Co - 03 February 2013

2013 Waka Tapu - A stopover in Moorea - photography by Julien Girardot

A wonderful pictorial documentary of the arrival of the wakas and welcome ceremony at Moorea Tahiti, Cook Bay. See the website for 111 photos.

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AOL - 30 December 2012

AOL / www.gadling.com by Dave Seminara - 30 December 2012, 5:30pm

Voyage to Rapanui: 5,000 Miles Down with No GPS, Maps or Compass

How would you feel about sailing 10,000 nautical miles from Auckland, New Zealand, to Easter Island and back on a double-hulled canoe with no GPS or navigational equipment? In August, after reading a story my colleague wrote on the Waku Tapu Voyage to Rapanui Expedition, I resolved to check back on these intrepid explorers to see if they made it to Rapanui (Easter Island) in one piece.

I'm happy to report that 22 male and female New Zealanders did indeed complete the first half of their epic journey, arriving in Rapanui safe and sound on December 5.

Read More watch the video

Australia Network News - 6 December 2012

www.abc.net.au - 6 December 2012, 5:30pm

Traditional canoes complete NZ to Easter Island expedition

... Karl Johnstone, Director of the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, was in Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui, for the arrival.

"Everybody's feeling very elated - it's been a long time at sea and obviously it's had its challenges," he's told Radio Australia.

"It has been longer than we initially predicted, but then when you're navigating by traditional systems there's no real telling how long it's going to take if you're at the mercy of the environment."

AUDIO: Waka Tapu completes Pacific odyssey (ABC News) interview with Karl Johnstone.

Lsten to the news

Te Karere Maori News - 6 December 2012

TVNZ/Te Karere Maori News - 6 December 2012

Eyes of the Moai light up as crews are welcomed on to Rapanui

The Aurere and Ngahiraka-mai-tawhiti crews have been welcomed on to Rapanui. The voyage across the Pacific has taken 16 weeks using traditional navigation techniques from the sun, moon, stars, tides and sea guardians..

watch the video

Radio New Zealand News - 6 December 2012

Radio New Zealand News - 6 December 2012, 7:16am and 12:07pm

Master waka builder arrives for welcome

Ngapuhi master waka builder Hector Busby was waiting onshore on Easter Island on Thursday to be part of welcome party for the Waka Tapu expedition.

Two ocean going waka hourua Te Aurere and Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti left Auckland in (August) to make a 10,000 nautical mile voyage to Rapanui using only the moon, the stars and the currents to guide them.

Mr Busby built Te Aurere 20 years ago and has been on previous trips using traditional navigation techniques passed down by his ancestors.

The two waka have been anchored just offshore since Saturday.

Read more

Listen to the Te Manu Korihi News 12:07pm today

New Zealand Herald - 5 December 2012

The New Zealand Herald - 5 December 2012, 6:13pm

Waka end four-month voyage on Easter Island coast

Two New Zealand waka have ended an epic four-month voyage on the coast of Easter Island.

The two waka hourua (double-hulled sailing canoes) have been retracing a historic 5000-nautical mile voyage across the Pacific using only traditional navigation techniques.

The trip has been the dream of Hekenukumai "Hec" Busby, the master waka builder who built both waka Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti, and its elder sibling Te Aurere in his Doubtless Bay workshop.

At 80, he wasn't able to take part in the full trip, but has flown to Rapanui (Easter Island) and will be taken out to the waka by boat tomorrow so he can sail in with the other 20 sailors.

Read more

NZ Government Media Release - 5 December 2012

Hon Chris Tremain - 5 December 2012

Waka Tapu reaches Rapanui

Associate Tourism Minister Chris Tremain has welcomed the arrival of Waka Tapu to Rapanui/Easter Island.

Two waka hourua (double–hulled sailing canoes) carrying 12 crew departed Auckland in August on a 10,000 nautical mile voyage to Rapanui and back.

“Today the waka reached Rapanui safely – using only the stars, moon, sun, ocean currents, birds and marine life to guide their way across 5,000 nautical miles of the Pacific Ocean,” says Mr Tremain.

“This is a fantastic accomplishment. Not only has this historic voyage allowed the crews to retrace the steps of their ancestors back to Eastern Polynesia, it helps retain and document indigenous navigational and environmental knowledge for future generations.”...

Read The Full release

National Party News - 5 December 2012

www.national.org.nz Hon Chris Tremain - 5 December 2012

Waka Tapu reaches Rapanui

Associate Tourism Minister Chris Tremain has welcomed the arrival of Waka Tapu to Rapanui/Easter Island.

Two waka hourua (double–hulled sailing canoes) carrying 12 crew departed Auckland in August on a 10,000 nautical mile voyage to Rapanui and back.

“Today the waka reached Rapanui safely – using only the stars, moon, sun, ocean currents, birds and marine life to guide their way across 5,000 nautical miles of the Pacific Ocean,” says Mr Tremain....

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NZ News Yahoo, Top Stories - 5 December 2012

Government / Fuseworks / NZ News UK - 5 December 2012, 4:42pm

Waka Tapu reaches Rapanui

Associate Tourism Minister Chris Tremain is pleased that the Waka Tapu has reached Rapanui/Easter Island...

The journey, which was led by the New Zealand Maori Arts & Crafts Institute in partnership with Te Taitokerau Tārai Waka, has been 20 years in the making.

Read More - Yahoo Read More - NZ News UK

Sportballa.com - 5 December 2012

Government / Fuseworks / NZ News UK - 5 December 2012

Waka Tapu reaches Rapanui

Hon Chris Tremain Associate Minister of Tourism 7th December 2012 Media Statement Waka Tapu reaches Rapanui Associate Tourism Minister Chris Tremain has welcomed the arrival of Waka Tapu to Rapanui/Easter Island. 

Read More Read source: Scoop

NZ City | News - 5 December 2012

NZ City News - published 5 December 2012

Waka crews to be welcomed at Easter Island

More than three months after they set out on an epic journey across the Pacific from New Zealand, those on board two waka will finally be welcomed onto Rapanui (Easter Island).

The waka hourua, or double-hulled sailing canoes, which each carries a crew of about 10, left Auckland on August 17 and have made two stops along the way.

The groups will on Wednesday morning (local time) set foot on Rapanui.

Rapanui locals will gather to perform a traditional ceremony which will involve prayers and cultural performances.

Read more

Radio New Zealand News - 4 December 2012

Radio New Zealand News - published 4 December 2012, 9:36pm

Easter Islanders prepare to celebrate with Waka Tapu crew

The tangata whenua of Rapanui are preparing to give their Maori cousins a warm welcome as they disembark from the Waka Tapu expedition.

Skipper Jack Thatcher says his crew were ecstatic after reaching Rapanui, or Easter Island, in their two waka on Friday, nearly 90 days after they left New Zealand.

Read more

NZ News Yahoo - 4 December 2012

NZ News Yahoo - published 4 December 2012, 5:25pm

Celebration after epic waka journey

Crews on board two waka are preparing to be welcomed ashore at Rapanui (Easter Island) after an epic journey over more than three months across the Pacific using only traditional navigation aids. The waka hourua, or double-hulled sailing canoes, which each have a crew of about 10, have been anchored off the southeast coast of Rapanui since Friday.

The journey began in Auckland Harbour on August 17 and crews made two stops on the way to Rapanui.

The crews have been awaiting the arrival of their master boat builder, Hector Busby, from New Zealand and will finally be welcomed onto the island with a traditional ceremony on Wednesday morning.

"We're anchored off a beautiful little bay and this is where the ceremony is going to take place," chief navigator Jack Thatcher, of Tauranga, told Radio New Zealand.

Read more

Radio New Zealand International - 3 December 2012

Radio NZ International - published 3 December 2012, 22:05pm

Rapanui prepares to welcome waka crew from NZ

The people of Rapa Nui are preparing to welcome their Maori cousins from two traditional canoes or waka which have made a 90 day journey from New Zealand. The Waka Tapu expedition reached Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, on Friday, travelling in two double-hulled canoes.

The crew used traditional navigation methods to retrace the epic journey of their ancient Polynesian ancestors, to raise environmental awareness. The Rapa Nui Elders Council President, Koro Alberto Hotus, says his people are getting ready for a big celebration.

“Just like if he was coming to New Zealand the people from the waka tapu who are going to be celebrating it and who are going to be received by the people from Easter Island following the most traditional ceremonies that are currently exist on the island.”

Koro Alberto Hotus of Rapa Nui. News Content © Radio New Zealand International PO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand

www.infonews.co.nz - 3 December 2012

infonews.co.nz - published 3 December 2012, 11:48am

Waka Tapu Crew Prepares to Make Historic Landing in Rapanui

After travelling over 5000 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean with no GPS or modern navigational equipment, a group of courageous Kiwi sailors will finally reach their long-awaited destination by the middle of this week.

Two traditional waka hourua (double-hulled sailing canoes) will arrive at Rapanui (Easter Island) more than three months after setting sail from Auckland. The 20 crew members undertaking this extreme ocean adventure have relied solely on the stars, moon, sun, ocean currents, birds and marine life to guide them on their journey, in a bid to retrace and revitalise the steps taken by Māori who first travelled across the Pacific to make their home in New Zealand.

The expedition, named Waka Tapu, also aims to close the final corner of the Polynesian Triangle defined by Hawaii in the North, New Zealand in the South and Rapanui in the East.

Read more

Te Karere Maori News - 2 December 2012

Te Karere Maori News - published 29 November 2012

After 15 weeks at sea, the ocean voyaging canoes Te Aurere and Ngahiraka have arrived in Rapanui. But the crews won't go ashore until the arrival of their leader, Hekenukumai Busby, for a formal ceremony of welcome.

The canoes left Auckland on August 17. Navigator Jack Thatcher says the crew are happy they've completed the historic voyage, even though there's a five day wait before they can go ashore.

watch the video

3 News: Traditional waka close to Easter Island - 1 December 2012

3 News - Saturday 01 December 2012, 7:51am

Two waka crossing the Pacific Ocean using traditional navigation are expected to reach Rapanui (Easter Island) next week after more than three months of sailing.

Two traditional waka hourua, or double-hulled sailing canoes, and their 20 crew members left Auckland on a journey to Rapanui, relying solely on the stars, moon, sun, ocean currents, birds and marine life for navigational guides.

The expedition, named Waka Tapu, is aiming to replicate journeys made by the Polynesian navigators which allowed them to spread throughout the Pacific Islands.

Read more

Radio NZ: Waka Tapu sail in clam waters - 28 November 2012

Radio New Zealand News - Wednesday 28 November 2012, 6:56pm

The Waka Tapu expedition heading to Rapanui or Easter Island is sailing on calm waters as they get nearer to their destination.

Two doubled hulled canoes Te Aurere and Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti are retracing the journey of their ancient Pacific ancestors by sailing the last leg of the Polynesian triangle.

Read more

Sailing canoes on last leg of epic journey - 19 November 2012

The Northern Advocate - Peter de Graaf, 19 November 2012, 7:12pm

Sailing canoes on last leg of journey:

Two Northland-built voyaging waka on their way to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) have now passed Pitcairn Island, the most remote inhabited island in the Pacific.

That means the two double-hulled waka have covered about one-quarter of the final leg of their journey, which began at Mangareva in French Polynesia on November 7.

Hekenukumai Busby built the waka Te Aurere and Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti at his workshop in Doubtless Bay. They left Auckland in August in a bid to reach the easternmost point of the Polynesian triangle using only wind and traditional navigation techniques.

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Maori Canoes Have Left Mangareva for Rapanui - 10 November 2012

www.hokulea.org - 10 November 2012

Te Ara ki te Pito o te Whenua | Voyage to Rapanui:

Two maori waka hourua (double hulled sailing canoe) departed Mangareva on Nov. 7, bound for Rapanui. The two are Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti, captained by Jack Thatcher, senior navigator; and its elder sibling Te Aurere, captained by Stanley Conrad. The canoes left Auckland, New Zealand, on August 18.

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Waka Tapu farewells Mangareva - 07 November 2012

Waka Tapu Facebook - Jack (Jacko) Thatcher 07 November 2012

If your all wondering what the Gekko is it comes from last year when this lovely lady in the village of Taipivae on Nukuhiva in the Marquesas couldn't pronounce my name properly (Jacko) and thus announced to the world that I am a lizard .... you had to be there. Anyway that's another story.

Today is my last day in paradise and as I look out over this tranquil setting looking out east to where the sun should be all I see are clouds. This is going to be a challenge for our Celestial Navigator Piripi Smith. Piripi will be Lead Navigator for this last leg into Rapanui, in a direct line from Mangareva we are looking at 1400 nautical miles of sailing to windward. This is what many historians have found difficult to believe over the centuries that polynesian stoneage technology could enable the first colonisation of the world's greatest ocean.

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New crew member waits in Mangareva - 23 October 2012

Te Karere Maori News 23 October 2012

The two waka-hourua Ngahiraka and Te Aurere, have almost reached the final stop-over before the last leg to Rapanui. They'll soon arrive in Mangareva where they'll be joined by a new crew member.

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Waka Tapu survives storms to reach land - 4 October 2012

NZ Herald 4 October 2012 12:41pm.

A group of courageous sailors on an historic voyage across the Pacific Ocean aboard two waka have made landfall in French Polynesia after surviving fierce storms and freak waves.

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Waka Tapu crews make first stop - 3 October 2012

stuff.co.nz 3 October 2012 9:38pm.

After five weeks and 2200 nautical miles the crews of two waka have set foot on land for the first time since leaving Auckland.

The Waka Tapu expedition arrived in Tubuai, one of the Austral Islands in French Polynesia after 43 days at sea, for their first stopover en route to Rapanui (Easter Island).

"We are being well looked after. Fed well, resting and gathering our thoughts," said Stanley Conrad, the Captain of one waka.

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Waka Tapu arrive safely at first stop-over - 29 September 2012

3 News online 29 September 2012 10:54am.

Two traditional waka tapu on an epic journey across the Pacific have reached their first stop-over at Tubuai, a remote group of islands in French Polynesia.

The two double-hulled waka, Te Aurere and Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti, sailed out of Auckland in August without modern navigational aids in a bid to re-create a Maori ancestral journey to Rapanui (Easter Island).

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Waka Tapu arrive safely - NZ City - 29 September 2012

NZCity 29 September 2012 10:00am.

Two traditional waka on an epic journey across the Pacific have reached their first stop-over at Tubuai, a remote group of islands in French Polynesia.

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Comworth supports Waka Tapu voyage - 26 September 2012

blog.comworth.co.nz 26 September 2012.

Comworth Group is proud to be supporting New Zealand’s Waka Tapu voyage to Rapanui (Easter Island) providing the Te Aurere, a double-hulled sailing canoe (waka hourua), with a CF-19 Fully Rugged Panasonic Toughbook for the voyage.

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Crew face food supply shortage - 17 September 2012

Te Karere Maori News Video. 17 September 2012.

Food on-board the two waka-hourua sailing to Rapanui, is fast running out. Ngahiraka-mai-tawhiti and Te Aurere were supplied with just over three weeks' worth of food which was enough to see them through to the first stop in Tubuai. But they have now spent four weeks at sea. We spoke to one of the crew on Ngahiraka today, Anihera Black, who says that the storms they encountered hampered their schedule.

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Crew craving fresh food but settle for doughnuts - 13 September 2012

Te Karere Maori News Video. 13 September 2012.

Land and fresh food is what crew members aboard Te Aurere and Ngahiraka are craving, on Day 28 of their voyage to Rapanui. The canoes had to sit out two days of stormy weather last week. After drying out their gear they were back on track with fair winds heading east.

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Calm after storm slows progress - 11 September 2012

Te Karere Maori News Video. 11 September 2012.

The two waka-hourua sailing towards Rapanui braved a 60 hour storm and faced waves rising to seven metres. But following the storm, they have experienced a calm couple of days with no wind which has slowed the voyage for Ngahiraka-mai-tawhiti and Te Aurere.

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Iconic Images from Around the World - 5 September 2012

Yahoo India - SImon Watts/Getty Images. 5 September 2012.

Waka Tapu, a traditional double-hulled sailing canoe, departs from Viaduct Harbour, Auckland, New Zealand for a four-month return voyage to Rapa Nui (Easter Island). The 10,000 nautical mile voyage retraces the ancestors of Maori when they first travelled across the Pacific to make their home in New Zealand.

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Waka Tapu: Storms - Te Karere News - 5 September 2012

Storms and wether hinder attempts to navigate. 5 September 2012.

Te Aurere and Ngahiraka-mai-tawhiti braved a storm on Tuesday and they're prepared for another storm, as they struggle their way to Rapanui.

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Maori Expedition to Easter Island - La Tercera, Santiago - Sep 2012

English Translation by NZ Embassy, Santiago. 6 September 2012.

The Maori of New Zealand have their eyes set on Rapa Nui, and we are not talking about an invasion. On 17 August, 24 New Zealanders will begin a journey that will take them close to three months and during which they will sail between the Auckland Habour and Easter Island in two traditional double hull canoes, guided by nothing more than the navigation skills inherited from their ancestors...

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