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Sir Hekenukumai’s waka dream will become a reality
Two wāka sail near the foreshore of Waitangi; houses are nestled into the bushy hillside in the background, just beyond the shoreline.

Wāka in action at Waitangi earlier this month. Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

RNZ, article by Lois Williams, 27 February 2019

Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis has announced a grant of $4.6m from the Provincial Growth Fund, for the Kupe Wāka centre to be built near Sir Hekenukumai’s home at Aurere, in southern Doubtless Bay.

The 86-year-old has built and launched many wāka from Aurere, and set up a carving school on the site some years ago.

But he told the Waitangi Tribunal three years ago he would not be around forever, and his dearest wish was for the funding for a navigation school so that the traditional techniques of Pacific voyaging could be passed on to a younger generation.

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