Toi Maori representatives will be travelling to the Netherlands for an official signing of a Deed on the 10th June 2010 concerning a ceremonial waka.
With the financial support of Bank Giro Lottery in the Netherlands, Toi Maori commissioned Master Waka Builder and Navigator Hekenukumai Puhipi to build this ceremonial waka. The whakairo for the waka are being carved by Takirirangi Smith and his team. The waka is due to be completed by the 26th June 2010 where it will have its official launch at Aurere, Bay of Islands.
The ceremonial waka will be on permanent loan to Volkenkunde Museum, and will remain as a working exhibition. It will have a waka shelter on the Museum grounds. A team of carvers managed by Takirirangi will be sent in August to complete whakairo for the waka shelter.
The ownership of the ceremonial waka will remain with Toi Maori and can be utilised anywhere in Europe, as and when Toi Maori deems necessary. The official hand over of this waka will occur on the 14th October 2010 coinciding with an opening of a major Maori exhibition featuring Dutch interaction with Maori since 1642 when Abel Tasman arrived. He of course left Aotearoa with a name… New Zealand.