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. For his services to the Māori people, he was appointed MBE in 1994, made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2014, and knighted in 2018. 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, (accessed 16 July 2024)

Story by Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr, published 12 Jun 2006