Te Aurere Voyaging - max 71 characters - articles NZHerald

By: Te Aurere  05-Apr-2012

4:00AM Tuesday Dec 02, 2008
By Yvonne Tahana

Hec Busby says when young people sail on the waka they appear to gain an insight into the greatness of their ancestors. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Te Aurere may be the first double-hulled waka Hec Busby ever built, but after 16 years the boat still knows how to give him a few thrills, he reckons.

Mr Busby, 76, is circumnavigating the North Island in the waka to train the next generation of sailors, who will learn traditional sailing techniques such as navigating by the stars.

After a weekend pitstop at the Manukau Harbour a group of 10 left on the outgoing tide yesterday afternoon for the next leg of their journey. The crew started at Mangonui Harbour in the Far North last week, before picking up more members at Hokianga Harbour.

It was there where the 17 metre kauri vessel, which is lashed together using only traditional methods, gave the first sign she still liked the rough stuff, Mr Busby said.

"The bar decided to look white. There was hardly any swell all the way down but as soon as we hit Hokianga we see the white right across the bar. It was a thrill, the total opposite to what we've found there before."

The entrance into the Manukau Harbour was less eventful but still had its moments - huge numbers of dolphins followed the voyagers before they landed.

"I think they had bailed up a school of fish and they were just getting into them."

Mr Busby's contribution to reviving Maori ocean-going traditions, after they were nearly lost, can't be underestimated. He's sailed Te Aurere to Rarotonga, Hawaii, Tahiti, the Marquesas, New Caledonia and Norfolk Island, clocking up more than 40,000km since 1992.

On this trip he hopes to dock in Wellington by mid-December, have a break and then bring Te Aurere back north for February 6 at Waitangi.

Along the way he plans to stop in at different marae for teaching wananga (sessions).

But sharing what he'd learned over the years wasn't only about passing on knowledge, it was also about keeping young Maori on the "straight and narrow", he said.

"There's something quite amazing to me about young people. When they hop on the waka it seems a little square is cut out and they're looking out on to the world of how brilliant our ancestors were.

"That's the reason I'm doing what I'm doing - to make sure the art is not lost."

Other news and updates from Te Aurere


Te Aurere Voyaging - Articles

This page shows Te Tai Tokerau Tarai waka featuring in the media, see the top of the page for Newspaper/written articles and the bottom for TV clips. Hekenukumai, Jacko, Piripi Evans and Tua Pittman attend the Pao ceremoney in Satawal, Micronesia where Mau Piailug is from.


Te Aurere Voyaging - max 71 characters - articles Dominion

The crew head to the local marae to talk about their travels and take one or two people along for the next leg of the journey. Hekenukumai Puhipi, known to many as Hector Busby, has travelled with Te Aurere since he helped build it in the early 1990s. Tales of over-friendly orcas and a broken paddle arrived with the waka Te Aurere, which has berthed in Titahi Bay.


Te Aurere Voyaging - max 71 characters - articles TDN

Mr Busby built Te Aurere in 1991, inspired by the 1985 visit to New Zealand of the waka hourua Hokule'a as part of its "Voyage of Rediscovery", promoting traditional Polynesian sailing methods, and the visit of Tahitian waka hourua, Hawaikinui.


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When the voyage resumes in January, Stanley Conrad will take command as Te Aurere calls in to Wellington, Napier, Gisborne, Waihau Bay on the East Coast and Tauranga before arriving at Waitangi for the commemoration of the 169th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on February 6.