Kaua e rangiruatia te hāpai o te hoe. E kore tō tātou waka e ū ki uta.
Do not lift the paddle out of unison. Our canoe will never reach the shore.
On Tuesday 17 May, 22 of our Māori Leaders went to Tākaro-ā-poi (Margaret Mahy Park) to participate in a waka experience. After a quick mihi whakatau, we got straight into our mahi in learning the different commands for rowing our waka. The group was split into two, and started paddling the two waka (Mikaere and Jimmy) down the Ōtākaro awa. There were a couple of practice runs then the race was on! The two waka raced each other with the waka Jimmy being the ultimate winner. Tēnei te mihi ki ngā kaihautū o ngā waka me ngā kaimahi o Waka on Avon.
We had lunch and got to enjoy playing at Tākaro-ā-poi before starting our hīkoi back to kura. We followed the Ōtākaro awa and made stops along the way to look at the Whāriki Manaaki that have been placed along the river bank. These whāriki represent the bicultural hītori of Ōtautahi including woven patterns about mahinga kai and the Treaty claim.
With sore shoulders and tired feet, we made it back to kura with big smiles on our faces. Tēnei te mihi ki ngā tamariki - Waka on Avon were blown away by your attentiveness and enthusiasm.