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Te Matau a Māui (the fish-hook of Māui) is a 22 meter waka hourua (double hulled Voyaging canoe) and is named after the Hawke’s Bay area, where in legend Māui foul hooked a great fish with the jawbone of his Grandmother.

Fishing up ‘an island’ is a Polynesian metaphor for finding islands using traditional navigation. The grandmother’s jawbone represents oral knowledge

handed down from the ancestors.

When not voyaging throughout the Pacific, Te Matau a Māui waka is based in Ahuriri - Napier.

Te Matau a Māui was one of seven sailing waka built in 2009 to voyage together on an environmental campaign which spanned 18 months, dozens of

Pacific Islands and over 40,000 miles.


Thousands of years ago legendary explorers such as Māui and Kupe were

venturing across the Pacific Ocean in double hulled sailing waka to explore far-away islands.

The navigation and sailing skills of the Pacific Islanders had been handed down the generations for more than 4000 years. By the 1900s this custom had been in decline and the knowledge was on the verge of extinction.

During the 1970s the Polynesian Voyaging Society was formed in Hawaii, with the help of Master Navigator Mau Piailug from Satawal in Micronesia, this knowledge was revived across Polynesia. ‘Papa Mau’ broke with family tradition and taught this knowledge to outside islands.


Today many islands of the Pacific have voyaging  waka and actively practice and develop sailors and navigators for the future.


Our crew deliver educational experiences for; school, youth and community groups. Along with sightseeing sails out into Te Whanganui a Ruawharo (Hawke Bay) and options for corporate groups.

No two waka experiences are the same and many are dependent on variables such as;  the weather, size of the group and educational outcomes.


Contact us  to tailor a waka experience right for your group or organisation.

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