8 Feb 2010

Tears as historic waka comes home again

10:08 pm on 8 February 2010

Tears of joy were shed on Sunday as the Hokianga-built waka Ngatokimatawhorua returned to the west coast harbour for the first time in 62 years.

The waka, which has spent most of its life grounded on inland Otaua marae, will be the star of a regatta at Mangungu later this week commemorating the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi by Hokianga chiefs.

Event co-ordinator Mita Harris told Waatea News Sunday's powhiri was very moving.

He says Ngatokimatawhorua was accompanied by four other waka and their crews, with more waka expected before the historic canoe returns to the water on Wednesday.