WAKA SAFETY GUIDELINES
Extensive discussion, consultation, research and collaboration on the safety issues facing the waka community, culminated in the launch of the National Safety Guidelines for Waka, Kaupapa Waka on 4 October 2001.
Nga Waka Federation, Nga Kaihoe o Aotearoa and the Maritime Safety Authority launched the guidelines at Hobsons Wharf in the Viaduct Basin in Auckland.
The guidelines are the result of 18 months work following a fatal waka accident early last year. They have been developed by the waka community in partnership with the Maritime Safety Authority to detail safety procedures for the two largest waka groups, Waka Ama (racing waka) and Waka Taua (ceremonial waka).
A series of hui were held throughout the country with various Iwi and waka groups to gather information on traditional safety practices already in place, share concerns and discuss the establishment of national guidelines for safety.
Hoturoa Kerr, of Nga Kaihoe o Aotearoa has been involved in Waka Ama for a number of years and was an integral in the process of consultation.
"One of the most important things to come out of this process has been the partnerships that have developed, the sharing of knowledge and experience. Maori have worked with Maori, Waka Ama have worked with Waka Taua and we have all worked with the MSA to produce procedures that are acceptable and inclusive," says Mr Kerr.
These guidelines are a symbol of consultation and partnership between the government and the waka community. They will help ensure the integrity, mana and future of a national symbol - the Waka.
The guidelines have been developed by the waka community for the waka community and they go further than just detailing safety procedures. They clarify the roles and responsibilities of all those who paddle, support and embrace the waka as well as outlining training, operational and emergency procedures, equipment and construction requirements.
The MSA works to promote safety on the water and we are pleased to have been able to support such a positive initiative, driven by the waka community to ensure the safety of their crews.
Waka Ama Guidelines: CLICK HERE
Maritime Safety Authority CLICK HERE