His­toric waka gets love and care

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

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.

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