7 Oct 2009

War canoes being renovated for Waitangi Day

9:09 am on 7 October 2009

Waka builder Hekenukumai Busby is racing the clock to get Taitokerau's two historic war canoes back in the water by Waitangi Day.

Waatea News reports he is restoring the 30-metre Ngatokimatawhaorua, which is housed at Waitangi, and a 16-metre waka with the same name which has been on land at Otiria since it was used for the 1940 New Zealand centennial celebrations in the Bay of Islands.

Mr Busby says there was a small amount of rot in the larger waka where water leaked through the roof of its storage shed.

But the smaller waka was quite badly affected by 30 years in the open.

Mr Busby told Waatea News all the rot has now been removed and restoration should be finshed by November, so crews can practice over the summer.