The largest gathering ever seen of Māori tribal war canoes (waka taua) was one of the centrepieces of the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1990. This documentary, narrated by Tukuroirangi Morgan, followed the ambitious countrywide programme to build the ornately carved waka, and assemble them at Waitangi as a demonstration of Māori pride and unity. The 22 strong fleet, powered by 1,000 paddlers, also fulfilled a dream of Tainui leader Princess Te Puea Herangi that had been curtailed 50 years earlier by World War II.
When you see the two logs that were dropped off on the site, a year ago just about now, and look at the finished product, you just can’t help but feel a lump come in your throat.– Rae Kepa (Waka builder)
Made with funding from NZ On Air