12 Mar 2013

King calls for war canoe to head north

7:35 am on 12 March 2013

The Maori King has personally phoned Te Atiawa ki Waiwhetu iwi asking its people to send a waka to the Turangawaewae Regatta at Ngaruawahia.

Twenty eight kaihoe (paddlers) will take their biggest waka to next Saturday's ceremonial parade of war canoes on the Waikato River.

The manager of Waiwhetu Marae in Lower Hutt, Peggy Luke-Ngaheke, says it's a privilege to take part.

She says Te Aniwaniwa will be taken by truck on Thursday night.

Paddlers have recently been practising their turns on the Hutt River.

The Turangawaewae Regatta is celebrating its 118th year and will feature at least seven waka taua (war canoes).

It is held to encourage and preserve Waikato-Tainui culture and traditions and customary activities on the river.