Waka retraces ancient journey

Sailors use land and stars as their ancestors did

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 05:00 06/05/2014
waka Haunui
JOHN HAWKINS/ Fairfax NZ

PLAIN SAILING: Bluff woman Steph Blair sailed down the coast from Dunedin on the Haunui. The waka, which began its journey from Auckland at the start of March, has sailed the Pacific as far as San Francisco. 

Relevant offers

A well-travelled waka has been welcomed in Bluff after its two-month journey from Auckland.

The Haunui's arrival was welcomed by southern iwi yesterday afternoon at Bluff Harbour.

Haunui's kaihautu, or co-ordinator, Hoturoa Kerr, said the journey was a chance to bring the waka to the south and what was achieved by Maori ancestors.

The waka retraced ancient seafaring journeys that spanned oceans and relied on the skill of the ancient sailors, he said.

"People often don't believe the waka can be navigated without modern instruments," Kerr said.

It was mostly plain sailing for the 16 crew members on the 22-metre waka.

"We tried to sail in fair weather and winds, but once in a while it got a bit rough," Kerr said.

However, Haunui has handled large tracts of open water before.

"The waka has sailed the Pacific and reached San Francisco," Kerr said.

"It's about seeing the sea and the lands the way our ancestors did. No one has done this for hundreds of years," he said.

Bluff woman Steph Blair joined the crew of the Haunui waka in Dunedin on Saturday and was one of those proud to sail into the southern port and bring the waka's story to life. 

Ad Feedback

- The Southland Times

Stimes strap contact us
Contact us

Contact details for The Southland Times and community newspapers.

photographer, camera
Photo orders

Order copies of images taken by Southland Times photographers.

st strap Communites
Our E-Editions

Read our free publications online.

giveaway
Win with the Times

Win with us!

Stl paper logo
Subscriber services

Click here for subscriber news and information.

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should a new site be found for Invercargill's second McDonalds?

Yes - the PHO has good reasons to object

No - it doesn't matter where it gets built

Vote Result

Related story: McDonald's location opposed

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Daily diversions
Cartoons by Chicane, aka Mark Winter

Quizzes

Today's puzzles

Reviews

Your Family News
Birth notices and anniversaries

Celebrations

View marriage and birth notices from around the region

Death notices

Death Notices

View obituaries from around the region