Waka expert and Te Wānanga o Aotearoa kaiako Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr says the seafaring traditions of our ancestors are a taonga that must be shared.
Hoturoa’s lifetime of contributions to waka moana were celebrated at the Te Waka Toi Awards in Rotorua on Saturday where he won Te Tohu Toi Kē.
Te Tohu Toi Kē recognises leadership and influencing the development of new directions in Māori art.
To be eligible for selection, the recipient's work must be innovative and challenging, have received high acclaim and broadened perceptions of Māori art.
Hoturoa (Waikato, Tainui) told Māori Television;
“Canoe paddling to canoe racing… these have been passed down to us by our ancestors to the building of traditional canoes. All of it should be treated as a gift and shown to the world.”
TWoA Kaiarahi of Waka Brendon Morgan acknowledged Hoturoa’s award and his ongoing contributions to our organisation.
“We are extremely privileged to work alongside Hoturoa and to have someone of his mana and expertise leading our waka aspirations for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa,” he said.
Hoturoa, who acknowledged TWoA for providing the means to promote the renaissance of waka during the awards ceremony, has had a significant involvement with TWoA since the inception of our first waka programmes in 2000.
More than 4,000 tauira have graduated from TWoA kaihoe waka and waka ama programmes since then.
Hoturoa will next year guide TWoA’s waka programmes providing support in the development and delivery of our Certificate in Waka Level 4 and Diploma in Waka Level 5.
The programmes will be launched at the end of this month at the Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Long Distance Nationals to be held in Tauranga.