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Rongomaiwahine prepare for final stop of Tuia 250 waka hourua

The Tuia 250 flotilla during their two and a half month journey to 'rebalance our history'.   Photo/File

Five waka hourua will sail into Māhia Peninsula early Sunday morning to draw to a close the two and a half month Tuia 250 Voyage that has set about "rebalancing our history," waka navigator and Tuia 250 co-chair Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr says.

"An important aim of Tuia 250 has been to highlight the history of Aotearoa's settlement. To do this, the Tuia 250 Voyage has been visiting sites of ancestral significance for tangata whenua.
"This is about rebalancing our history and bringing into the public domain stories that until now may only have been familiar to local iwi," Barclay-Kerr says.

Three waka hourua from the flotilla, Haunui, Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti and Fa’afaite, will be joined by the waka Tairāwhiti from Gisborne and Te Matau-a-Māui from Napier.

Local iwi Rongomaiwahine have organised a waka festival Tuia Mai Tawhiti to celebrate the last stop of the journey.

"The Māhia area was named Te Māhia-Mai-Tawhiti by the high priest Ruawharo, who came here aboard the Takitimu, so the Tui Mai Tawhiti waka festival this weekend acknowledges a very deep ancestral connection.
"The festival also celebrates the matauranga, or knowledge, of waka building and traditional navigation. It's important that this knowledge flourishes and is passed on to the next generation," Barclay-Kerr says.