May 9, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Waka Tapu ready to sail to Rapa Nui

2 min read

Kia ora,

After many months of planning and training the time for the sail to Rapa Nui is almost upon us. For Te Tai Tokerau Tarai Waka Inc. and partner New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute the many months spent planning are soon to reach fruition. August 17th. 2012 is the departure date. Place for departure is the Viaduct, Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland).

The voyage has been given the name Waka Tapu , Te Aurere is the Waka Tapu and the Tapu will be lifted when it reaches Rapa Nui (Easter Island). You can find out more about the voyage by logging on at or once the voyage has commenced you will be able to follow progress by logging on to and clicking on Waka Tracker.

Both Te Aurere and Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti will be on the voyage and will call at such places as Tahiti and Rarotonga on the return voyage. There will be 12 crew on each waka, male only on Te Aurere until the Tapu is lifted at Rapa Nui, then female crew members will be on Te Aurere as well as Ngahiraka.

We are really excited about this voyage as for us it will close the Polynesian Triangle. This is something we have wanted to do for many years but had proved too difficult. Now with NZMACI on board our dream is about to come true. Hekenukumai is planning to be aboard Te Aurere when it sails in to Rapa Nui. Then for him his dream will be complete.

What an historic voyage this is going to be as it is unclear when a traditional Maori sailing waka from Aotearoa made this voyage last. All we know is that it would have been many centuries ago. So, be part of this journey and follow progress as above. If you wish to send messages send them to email [email protected] and we will see that they are passed on.

We are pleased and honored that a contingence from Hawaii will be in Aotearoa for the departure. The Hawaiians sailed to Rapa Nui from Hawaii a few years ago. What a real honour to have them with us on the day.

Well thats it for now. Take care and be good to each other.

Noho ora mai

Mike Harding

1 thought on “Waka Tapu ready to sail to Rapa Nui

  1. This Friday morning witnesss and celebrate the departure of Waka Tapu as it leaves on its historic voyage from Aotearoa to Rapanui.

    Waka Tapu will see a crew of 23 sailors undertake an intrepid open sea voyage to Rapanui (Easter Island) across 10,000 nautical miles of ocean in traditional waka hourua (double-hulled sailing canoes) using only the stars, moon, sun, ocean currents, birds and marine life to guide them on their journey across the vast Pacific Ocean.

    The two waka hourua, made from kauri, will be guided out of Waitemata Harbour at 11:30am, Friday 17th August by an impressive flotilla including Royal New Zealand Navy vessels, waka taua (war canoes) used during last years Rugby World Cup opening ceremony and other waka hourua.

    This epic journey has been 20 years in the making and is being organised by the New Zealand M?ori Arts & Crafts Institute (NZMACI) in partnership with Te Taitokerau T?rai Waka. Its designed to retrace and revitalise the steps taken by the ancestors of M?ori who first travelled across the Pacific to make their home in New Zealand. The voyage also aims to close the final corner of the Polynesian Triangle defined by Hawaii in the North, New Zealand in the South and Rapanui in the East.

    The public can watch the waka departing Auckland this Friday from Wynyard Quarter, next to the Team New Zealand sheds.

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