Ko Tangaroa te atua o te
Te Aurere was the first traditional waka hourua (double hulled voyaging canoe) built by Hekenukumai Busby. Her maiden voyage was to Rarotonga in 1992. Since then it has sailed over the Pacific to Hawai'i, Tahiti, Marquesas, New Caledonia and Norfolk Is. Te Aurere has also circumnavigated Te Ika o Maui (the North Island of New Zealand) a number of times. It carries up to 14 crew and is made of two kauri trees from the Herekino State Forest.
The waka is 57 foot long and 18 foot wide with carved prow and stern. It has two masts and can also rig a jib. All joints of the waka are lashed together using traditional Polynesian methods. It is capable of making up to twelve knots in a good wind.
Navigation on voyages is by the traditional way of using the stars, moon, sun, wind, wave patterns and birds. Western navigation instruments are not used, however modern safety equipment is carried on board for a worst case scenario. A GPS tracker is also set up on board so progress of voyages can be seen via our web page.
The organisation behind Te Aurere and its cultural and educational programs is Te Tai Tokerau Tarai Waka Inc (Tarai Waka). Tarai Waka was formed in the late 1980s to build the waka taua Mataatua Puhi. As part of its program to develop kaupapa waka Tarai Waka provides practical training in waka construction, sailing and traditional navigation.