23 Feb 2016

Master waka builder's plea for navigation school

6:01 am on 23 February 2016
Master waka builder Hekenukumai (Hector) Busby is honoured at Te Waka Toi Awards 2013

Hekenukumai Busby (file) Photo: Michael Hall via Flickr / Creative New Zealand / CC BY-ND 2.0

Celebrated navigator and and waka builder Hekenukumai Busby has made a plea for support to teach future generations the art of Polynesian voyaging.

Mr Busby, 83, has recounted for the Waitangi Tribunal his role in the waka renaissance and celestial navigation over the past 30 years.

He said he was confident the carving school he had set up would carry on, but the navigation school he dreamed of was still incomplete, and he was worried it would not be built in his lifetime.

Mr Busby said he would not be around forever and he would be a lot happier if he knew the school's future was secure.

It would cost about $200,000 to get the navigation school running in the way he hoped but fundraising was not his forte, he said.

Hekenukumai Busby, left, attends a Waitangi Tribunal hearing at Terenga Paraoa Marae, Whangarei, in February 2015.

Hekenukumai Busby, left, attends a Waitangi Tribunal hearing at Terenga Paraoa Marae. Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

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