A fleet of waka hourua have opened the NZ Festival on Wellington's waterfront tonight, telling the story of the explorer Kupe.
The performance was inspired by the arrival of navigator and explorer Kupe to Aotearoa, and will feature more than 1000 kapa haka performers and a 250-strong choir.
The performers welcomed the four waka hourua that travelled from as far as Samoa to be part of the opening of the New Zealand Festival.
Twenty-thousand people gathered to watch the spectacle on a fine night in the capital.
Thousands have gathered here on the water front to see the incredible waka hourua. What a night for it pic.twitter.com/i1y9c0FWSp— TeAniwa Hurihanganui (@teaniwahuri) February 23, 2018
Those dots are people! So amazing to see a turn out like this for the Kupe Festival the fleet of waka arriving soon. pic.twitter.com/L7hTqQt4ET— TeAniwa Hurihanganui (@teaniwahuri) February 23, 2018
Wellington waterfront chokka to welcome the waka pic.twitter.com/vxpx2zCIgl— Sally Round (@RoundSally) February 23, 2018