Regional | Waka Hourua

Waka hourua to visit Te Tauihu in first-of-its-kind event

Four waka hourua are setting sail for Te Tauihu, in a first-of-its-kind event for the region.

The double-hull waka, replicas of the craft once used for long-distance voyaging, will travel from Te Ika-a-Māui (the North Island) to Kaiteretere for Te Hau Kōmaru, a week-long festival celebrating the ocean-going vessels.

Todd Jago, Te Hau Kōmaru’s kaihautū (leader) said after two festivals held in Te Ika-a-Māui, it was their turn to host the event in Te Waipounamu (the South Island).

Waka hourua will sail from Gisborne, Napier and Tāmaki Makaurau, arriving at Kaiteretere on April 6, where mana whenua will greet the voyagers with a pōwhiri.

Throughout the week, there will be activities, workshops on skills like navigation and seasonal changes, where waka experts will come together to share mātauranga waka (canoe knowledge).

The public will also get the chance to learn more about the kaupapa, with open days on Sunday, April 7 and Saturday, April 13.

The public is also invited to tour waka hourua Hinemoana when it docks at Nelson Marina on April 4.

Te Hau Kōmaru was established in 2021 to support kaupapa waka. While the skills and practice are experiencing a resurgence, the waka hourua journey for Te Tauihu is still in its early stages.

Jago is at its forefront, and is overseeing the construction of two waka taurua (smaller sailing waka) in a bid to foster the region’s kaupapa waka hourua, and bring the mātauranga to a new generation of voyagers.

Te Hau Kōmaru National Waka Hourua Festival will be held at Kaiteretere from April 6 to 14. Find more information at or on their social media channels. You can book a tour of the Hinemoa at Nelson Marina on April 4 at