Super-waka turns heads in harbour

STACEY KNOTT
Last updated 12:58 10/04/2014
Widleys
ALDEN WILLIAMS/FAIRFAX NZ

SHIP-SHAPE: The double-hulled waka Haunui arrives in Nelson from Golden Bay yesterday.

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Nelsonians are being offered a chance to go out on the water in a traditional double-hulled waka this weekend.

The Te Toki Voyaging Trust's Haunui arrived in Nelson yesterday from Golden Bay. It left Auckland in early March and is visiting areas all over New Zealand.

Navigator Manihera Forbes said the crew of 16 were travelling all over New Zealand to visit crew members' home towns.

The waka is 22 metres long, 5.5m wide and weighs 11 tonnes. It is double masted and was made for long voyages. The crew sleep and cook on board. The design is based on traditional Polynesian voyaging waka.

The waka has solar panels and an electric motor which is just used in ports for more controlled navigation, Forbes said.

It was built five years ago in Auckland as one of a fleet of seven that were homed around the Pacific. In 2011 the seven waka sailed the Pacific to San Francisco to "promote a self-sustainable message and nurture for our ocean environment," Forbes said.

"That's a key theme of what this waka is about - protecting our environment, and on our waka we had a promise to all our crew who went overseas the waka would go and visit all our crew's homes, so we had crew here in Nelson."

They will be travelling to Christchurch next week, then Otago and Bluff.

While the waka is in Nelson, people can book to go on an hour's trip on it, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, as part of the Nelson City Council Modes of Transport and Heritage Week. On Sunday at 1.30pm at the Boathouse, chief of the Haunui, Hoturoa Barclay Kerr, will speak about his experiences on the double-hulled waka.

To book a place on the waka contact Geoff Mullen on 021 417 828 or 027 246 1224; or Ciny Batt on 027 276 2968.

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