Historic waka gets love and care
A carving project at Te Kura Maori o Porirua will further connect the students with their community and the harbour, the teacher in charge says.
Hinga Smith and a group of year 9 and 10 students have been restoring an old waka once a week since term 1.
Smith was made aware of the sailing and fishing waka rotting in a garden in Masterton.
‘‘I saw it there and thought we could do something with it and hopefully give it back some mana,’’ he said.
There were holes in the hull and they had been repaired with macrocarpa, totara and poplar. A new paint job made it as good as new, Smith said.
The purpose of the exercise, along with the practical side of using teamwork to restore the waka, was also a cultural lesson, he said.
‘‘ They’re learning about guardianship of our harbour, the history and even safety on the water. They’re connecting with the water, their environment and culture.
‘‘There’s a lot of pride in the work we’re doing.’’
Student Jaimie Ngatoko said he had enjoyed the experience and it was fun to carry out the work with his friends.
Arama Wineera, a whakairo student from Whitireia Community Polytechnic, has assisted with the restoration.
The waka was launched at Titahi Bay Beach on Friday.
Smith hopes to eventually build an appropriate shelter for it at the kura.
Waka work: From left, Levi Skelton, Te Atawhai Amaru-Tibble and Jaimie Ngatoko get some last-minute sanding done last week.