A new waka aimed at boosting cultural tourism in Wellington has been named and blessed.
Wharewaka O Poneke Charitable Trust chairman Morrie Love says the new waka was also launched during the ceremony on Sunday morning, a highlight of which was Wellington City Mayor Celia Wade-Brown paddling the waka.
The trust built a third waka - made from fibreglass - to make it easier for novices, tourists and others to use, Mr Love says. It will be a central part of Waitangi Day events on Thursday.
Mr Love says the traditional waka will be kept for ceremonial occasions.