Te Aurere Voyaging - max 71 characters - articles TDN

By: Te Aurere  05-Apr-2012


Hector Busby sails the traditional way.

The 76-year-old sailor built his waka hourua (double-hulled voyaging canoe) Te Aurere himself, digging out two kauri trees, and he navigates using stars, the moon, sun, wind, wave patterns and birds.

Yesterday, Mr Busby and an eight-member crew reached Taranaki's shores, touching in at New Plymouth as part of a voyage circumnavigating the North Island, teaching a new generation of sailors the traditional ways.

"Our aim is to make it to Waitangi by Waitangi Day," Mr Busby said.

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.

"They said they hoped one day we would come back in our own canoe, so I took the challenge up," he said.

Te Aurere made its maiden voyage to Rarotonga in 1992.

"She's done a few miles now, Tahiti, Hawaii, Rarotonga," Mr Busby said.

"She's a good vessel, I'd sooner go on her any day than a yacht."

This year is the first time Mr Busby has sailed Te Aurere since 2000 when he went to New Caledonia, he said.

The boat has a top-speed of about 12 knots and a maximum crew capacity of 12 and Mr Busby said he often just picks them up along the way.

"We've got crew all along the island and the ones that are available put their names down," he said.

Last time Te Aurere passed through New Plymouth, Mr Busby picked up three crew members but he's not yet sure if any will come from Taranaki this time for the next leg of the voyage to Wanganui.

But he has noticed the younger crew members get very involved in the traditional methods.

"Young fullas get very attached to the waka," he said.

"Some of the young ones who have gone a bit off track seem to come right when they got knocked about out at sea."

Te Aurere may be built from dug out kauri logs and lashed together using traditional Polynesian techniques but safety demands mean there are a couple of modern features, including modern safety equipment, an outboard motor and a GPS system.

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 NZHerald

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


Te Aurere Voyaging - max 71 characters - articles NorthernAdcocate

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.