20 Dec 2012

Knowledge gained by waka crew will benefit all iwi

7:01 pm on 20 December 2012

Ngati Kahungunu's chairman says the knowledge gained by the crew of the iwi's waka Te Matau A Maui which returned home to Napier on Thursday, will be of benefit to all tribes.

Powhiri were held both out in Hawke Bay and onshore near the Ahuriri estuary in Napier, to welcome the crew home.

Ngahiwi Tomoana says the solar powered and wind assisted fibre glass waka which is 22 metres long and six metres wide, has spent almost two years sailing around the Pacific Ocean as part of a mission to help clean up the ocean.

He says because the crew kept good records during their voyages they now know how long it will take to sail by waka to Tahiti, Hawaii, Tonga, Fiji and the Solomon Islands, and how much food will be needed.

Mr Tomoana says Te Matau A Maui's voyages have helped revive the art of ancient navigation.

He says a German philanthropist who has sponsored the waka, is making a film about Te Matau A Maui and the other six waka which sailed around the Pacific.

Mr Tomoana says now the waka is back home, people in Hawke's Bay will have the opportunity to learn how to sail it and navigate using traditional Maori skills.