A request from Holland's National Museum of Ethnology to acquire a Māori war canoe (waka taua) as a permanent exhibit resulted in master builder Hector Busby being commissioned to craft one. Jan Bieringa’s film looks at the history of waka, and follows the project from construction and launch, to the training of a Dutch crew and arrival in Holland. The first waka to permanently leave New Zealand shores makes a surreal sight on the canals of Abel Tasman’s birthplace. Onfilm reviewer Helen Martin praised it as "a special film about a very special project."
When the waka goes away, it is alive. You treat it as somebody. You treat it with respect. It has a total dependency on people to keep it alive.– Tepene Mamaku
Available to buy and rent from NZ Film On Demand
Museum Volkenkunde, Ministry of Culture and Heritage’s Cultural Diplomacy international Programme, Toi Maori Aotearoa, NZ Film Archive
Music by Warren Maxwell, Hine and Tepene Mamaku