11 Jun 2011

Matariki celebrated with mass harbour event

6:45 am on 11 June 2011

Hundreds of paddlers are expected to converge on Whangarei harbour on Saturday to celebrate Matariki, the Maori New Year.

The Parihaka Sports Club is organising the mass event, with races for waka ama, or outrigger canoes, and for surf-skiers, kayakers and paddleboarders.

The club says anyone is welcome to enter any sort of craft - as long as it floats and they can paddle it.

The event starts at 8am with karakia on the Onerahi foreshore.

The prize for the entrants who overcome the most challenges is a taonga carved in 1990 from a fallen branch of the great kauri Tane Mahuta.