Story: Waka – canoes

Hekenukumai Busby

Hekenukumai Busby

In 1991–92 Hekenukumai (Hector) Busby, a skilled navigator from Northland, built the waka hourua (double-hulled canoe) Te Aurere. He was inspired by Nainoa Thompson, the navigator of the Hōkūle‘a, a replica of a traditional Hawaiian canoe which voyaged to Aotearoa in 1985. Te Aurere has now sailed over 30,000 nautical miles, visiting Hawaii, French Polynesia, the Cook Islands, New Caledonia and Norfolk Island, as well as making three circumnavigations of the North Island.

For his services to the community, Hekenukumai received the New Zealand Commemoration Medal in 1990 and an MBE in 1994. He passed away in 2019.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Dominion Post Collection (PAColl-7327)
Reference: EP/1998/0365/33
Photograph by Melanie Burford

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr, 'Waka – canoes - Pacific origins', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/5996/hekenukumai-busby (accessed 20 October 2019)

Story by Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr, published 12 Jun 2006