Nga Waka Federation (Traditional Canoe Skills)
This national forum was established in 1992 to promote participation and traditional practices of ceremonial waka.
- Robert Gabel, Pouwhakahaere
- Hekenukumai (Hector) Busby
- Francis Mamaku
- Kairau Ngahau
- Chappie Harrison
- Hohepa Mason, Life Member/Founding Chairperson
- Joe Conrad
On 6 February 1990 at Waitangi in the Bay of Islands, 23 ceremonial waka were present for the largest gathering in living memory. Over 1000 men were trained in the construction and operation of a variety of waka, serving as emblems of a tradition and custom for the tribes of Aotearoa.
The cost of maintenance of waka, crew and transport are prohibitive. Existing waka have developed a role within their own regions and their appearance at public events is a main attraction.
Today, there is an increased interest in waka being developed for life skill and education training. A leading institution in this work is Te Wananga o Aotearoa.
The development of an ocean voyaging waka with Hekenukumai Busby and Maatahi Whakataka Brightwell has been added to by the work of Tom Davis of Rarotonga basing his waka in Auckland, New Zealand.
Waitangi Commemoration in the Bay of Islands is an annual event on 6 February with public displays of ceremonial waka. The home fleet of waka include Nga Toki Matawhaorua, Te Ika A Maui, Te Au Kaha, Mataatua Toroa and Te Aurere. Waka crews are hosted in a waka village with the nearby marae of Te Tii and the town of Paihia accommodating many international visitors.