Te Matau a Māui

Te Matau a Māui Voyaging Trust

The area surrounding Napier Port has strong cultural significance. It links the local Maori people to Tangaroa, god of the sea, through the sea maiden Pania and her child Moremore.

Pania is a sacred taonga (treasure) to local Maori, and now takes her form as a reef in the Hawke Bay harbour, Te Whanganui-a-Orotū. Napier Port is deeply connected to this cultural and living history, and we are proud to be a partner of the Te Matau a Māui Voyaging Trust.

The Trust cares for Te Matau a Māui, a waka hourua (traditional double-hulled voyaging waka), which is permanently berthed in the Ahuriri Harbour, just around from the port. The Trust works with families, cultural groups and young people, taking them on sea voyages with Te Matau a Māui and teaching a kaupapa of water safety, local history, teamwork and responsibility.

Napier Port provides practical assistance in lifting the Te Matau a Māui waka out of the water every two years, so that it can be surveyed and properly maintained. We’ve also helped fund a hoe urungi, or steering paddle, for the waka.

In 2017 we supported the Trust to host the Te Herenga Waka Festival, bringing six voyaging waka from across the Pacific to Napier for a fortnight of friendly competition, education and relationship building. To find out more about Te Matau a Māui Voyaging Trust, visit their website.