6 Jun 2013

Voyaging waka spends another night in Island Bay

10:23 am on 6 June 2013

The waka, Te Matau a Maui, will spend another night anchored in Wellington's Island Bay as harsh weather continues to lash the city.

Te Matau a Maui anchored in Island Bay, Wellington.

Te Matau a Maui anchored in Island Bay, Wellington. Photo: RNZ

The 22 metre long voyaging canoe was heading to the harbour on Tuesday night when strong winds made it too dangerous to continue.

It sailed from Napier to Wellington with a crew of 14, to mark the beginning of the city's Matariki, or Maori new year celebrations on Saturday.

The captain of the waka, Frank Kawe, says it was blowing quite hard on Tuesday night which made it tough to anchor but everyone worked together and learnt from it.

He says a karakia to protect them on their journey was said before they set off and he believes the crews' tipuna, or ancestors were looking after them.

Mr Kawe says the canoe is also carrying some special mauri stones which have been brought down from an old pa or burial site belonging to Tara, and bringing them to te Whanganui-a-Tara or Wellington would have kept them safe.

He says the crew will sleep onboard again on Wednesday and will asses the weather in the morning.