Waka return safely after Pacific voyage

7:12 am on 20 May 2013

Two sailing waka that have been on an epic voyage to Easter Island (Rapanui) have arrived back safely at Aurere beach in Doubtless Bay in the Far North.

Te Aurere returning to Doubtless Bay.

Te Aurere returning to Doubtless Bay. Photo: RNZ

The double-hulled waka - built at Aurere by Hekenukumai Busby - have been sailing the Pacific for almost a year, using traditional navigation methods.

Mr Busby said this marks the realisation of his long-held dream: that Maori would one day replicate the voyages of their ancestors, by sailing waka between the three points of the Polynesian triangle - Aotearoa, Hawaii and Rapanui.

Mr Busby said the welcome for Te Aurere and Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti was being followed by the opening of Te Wananga o Kupe Mai Tawhiti, where traditional waka building skills and early navigation techniques will be taught.