Hawaikinui Tuarua Waka Ama Ki Otaki was formed in September 1992 by Perry Hakaraia with the aim of fostering the sporting and recreational use of the outrigger canoe in the Otaki area and further a field.
At the time the sport appeared to many to have its roots in Pacific Island culture and there were those that questioned its relevance to Maori. In 1958 an ama was discovered in the Te Horo area and a waka section was uncovered. While these are the only waka ama to be found in the North Island their discovery proved that waka ama is not new to Maori. In establishing the club, Perry saw this as an opportunity to introduce the sport to Maori and re-establish a long lost bond with their pacific cousins.
In 1993 the clubs constitution was drawn up and the club became an incorporated society. In that same year an all-girl midget crew made it through to the final in the 1993 Waka Ama Nationals at Lake Pupuke. At that stage the club didn’t have a canoe and the girls instead trained sitting on nail boxes beside a swimming pool.
The club takes its name from the double-hull waka, “Hawaiki Nui”, built by Greg Matahi Whakataka Brightwell, which sailed from Tahiti to New Zealand in 1986 to prove such a journey could have been completed as Polynesian tradition suggests. This choice of name was borne out of a desire by Perry to preserve the name and historical significance of Greg’s “Hawaiki Nui”.
The club has had a close association with Greg Whakataka-Brightwell’s Mareikura. In early 1990’s Mareikura held a waka ama workshop in Otaki and Hongoeka. Two hundred locals turned up to the weekend workshops which culminated in the men paddling a waka from Hongoeka to Otaki. This was the first time a waka ama had been seen on these seas in this century. Prior to Hawaikinui Tuarua forming, club members in Otaki paddled under the Mareikura banner.
The Club Today...
Over the last few years Hawaiki Nui Tuarua has developed a strong presence in Porirua to the point where as much as half the current membership is from that area.
The club owns four six-man canoes, a two-person canoe, and a single person canoe.
In Porirua, the club is based behind the Paremata Kindergarten at Ivey Bay, Paremata.
Otaki's home base was, for many years, Lake Waitawa at Forest Lakes. However an increase in paddler numbers and expansions by business operators around the lake edge put a strain on that location and the club was forced to move. A lack of access to a good training location saw membership in Otaki drop dramatically. The club has relocated a canoe to Waipunahau (lake Horowhenua) in Levin to support some growing interest in the sport from that region. The club also has an arrangement with local kura for limited use of Stresscrete Lake during the Seconday Schools campaign.
Hawaiki Nui Tuarua's club colours are purple and fluorescent yellow. A striking combination which certainly stands out when teams are on the water.