Photos: Waka paddlers take part in Waitangi Day celebrations

Mon, Feb 6

Hundreds of waka paddlers took to the waters at Waitangi this morning as visitors gathered to watch the celebrations.

A flotilla of nine waka participated in the ceremony in front of large crowds.

Hundreds of people lined up on a bridge to watch the parade of waka. The ceremony was followed by a 21-gun salute at midday.

Crowds at Waitangi watched as the largest ceremonial waka, the Ngātokimatawhaorua, sailed past Te Tii Beach.

The waka was built in 1940 for the centennial of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

It is launched every year as part of annual commemorations.

The popular spectacle involves many rangatahi, and has been part of a programme designed to revive the art of traditional waka voyage.


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