This 1988 documentary details a mission by 100 men to paddle a huge waka taua (war canoe) from Waitangi to Whangaroa, chronicling their spiritual and physical journey en route. The camera takes in training, the gruelling 10 hour, 70 kilometre passage, and the vessel's arrival in Whangaroa Harbour to mark Whangaroa County’s centennial. The waka, Ngātokimatawhaorua, was named after Kupe’s original ocean-voyaging canoe. Beached at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, it is the largest waka in existence. This was veteran filmmaker Tainui Stephens' first documentary as a director.
Whereas before I just wanted to loaf around, since I've been on a waka it's brought the māoritanga out of me ...– A paddler
Funded by the NZ Film Commission's Short Film Fund, and the Māori Programming Initiatives Committee of the BCNZ (Broadcasting Corporation of New Zealand)