“What manner of men were they who, by surpassing the achievements of the Phoenicians in the Mediterranean and the Vikings of the North Atlantic, are worthy of being called the supreme navigators of history.” – Te Rangi Hiroa.
To sail the ocean highways of Pacific ancestors on waka/vaka/va’a is to – in some way – ride the waves with them, stand alongside them and gaze at the stars. And sail towards the same distant horizons that their ancestors once sailed to.
Voyaging requires imagination and determination to traverse the stories that have been locked in our physical memories, DNA stored. To remember is to laugh, to cry, to celebrate and to mourn. To remember is to sense the mana of our seafaring ancestors, whose feats of bravery were underpinned by their knowledge and skill.
We have come to know again the sea. The sky. The wind. The karakia. And the stars. But to have only these as portents and guides renders most of us modern descendants mute.
Waka journeyed from the corridors of Satawal and Guam to Fiji, Samoa, Tonga up to Hawaii, across to Rapanui and finally down to Aotearoa. Toia mai! Te waka!
Left with this legacy, we reach out to grasp fading threads of conversation and reflections of the way we used to be.
Haunui waka is part of a conversation, a korero about reviving those traditions and conversations and knowledge of our Pacific ancestors.
Commemorating Tainui kaumatua Hone Haunui, kaitiaki Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr chose to honour Hone Haunui for years his support and sage guidance when it came to waka. He was a man respected and recognised for his matauranga and in his lifetime launched many waka. Sadly Hone passed away in December 2010 Hone Haunui was also involved in Te Mana o te Moana as he was the kaumatua who performed the launching karakia and ceremonies for Hinemoana, one of the waka in the family of canoes that will be travelling the Pacific.
The hulls of the waka are also named – Pikikōtuku (the ascending white heron) for the female port hull. The male starboard hull is named Wharetoroa (house of the albatross). The steering hoe has been given the name Te Whare Hukahuka Tangata (The foam house of the sea god).
The Haunui waka is for all iwi and owned by all nations.
Aboard the waka during the journey will be sailors from iwi Maori such as Tainui, Ngāi Tahu, Ngā Ruahine, Ngāti Raukawa and Te Arawa, as well as the Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Motu from Papua New Guinea, and Scotland.
Haunui sails with the kaupapa of protecting the environment, promoting awareness of the oceans, pollution and climate change and of revitalising waka culture and knowledge within the Pacific. Many thanks go to German philanthropist Dieter Paulman, whose foundation Okeanos aims to protect the oceans and preserve marine life.