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Learning to Sail
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Recommended for Years 5-8

The learning to sail waka programme is proudly sponsored by the Napier Port, it is a water safety and educational programme about the different types of waka here in Aotearoa and around the Pacific.

The resource booklet is available in both English and Te Reo Māori, it has a number of exercises for the students to complete around kaupapa waka and water safety

The children get a hands on experience at paddling and sailing the waka taurua which are small replica’s of the larger 22 metre waka hourua (double hull sailing waka). The waka taurua are 5 metres long and 2 metres wide.

The programme is run approximately over a five week period and sessions are delivered in terms 1 and 4 in small groups of 15-20 students. 

The outline of the programme :


In the school classroom, a powerpoint presentation is given on the history of waka migration throughout the Pacific to Aotearoa. Followed by an overview of the ‘learning to sail waka’ booklet.

Second session

At the Clive River, water safety, an introduction to waka taurua, names of the different parts of the waka taurua and introduction to paddling and steering of the waka taurua.

Third session

At the Clive River, paddling and sailing the waka taurua.

Fourth session

At the Clive River, paddling and sailing the waka taurua.

Fifth session

Visit to the waka hourua ‘Te Matau a Māui’ in Ahuriri.

Our educators are police vetted and our crew are trained in water safety and kaupapa waka and we have a safety boat on the water with the waka taurua at all times. Contact  for more information


  • All students will be able paddle, steer and sail the waka taurua

  • They will have an understanding of water safety and tides

  • They will know the different types of waka in  Aotearoa and what they are used for

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