Ngatokimatawhaorua: The biography of a waka *Ockham 2024 Longlist*
- Author: Evans, Jeff
- ISBN: 9781991151193
$NZ 49.99 Ex Tax: $NZ 49.99
This is the biography of the mighty ceremonial waka taua Ngatokimatawhaorua that rests on the Treaty Grounds at Waitangi. The inspiration for its construction came from Te Puea Herangi. In the late 1930s the Waikato leader held a dream to build seven waka taua for the 1940 centennial commemorations at Waitangi. By 1937 two waka had been commissioned. Carved in Northland under the guidance of Pita Heperi (Te Tai Tokerau) and Piri Poutapu (Waikato), Ngatokimatawhaorua was one of them. But it was to be many decades before the true power of the waka to inspire a people was realised. In 1974 Ngatokimatawhaorua was refurbished by the late Sir Heke-nuku-mai-nga-iwi 'Hec' Busby for relaunching during Waitangi Day ceremonies. It was then that Te Puea's dream turned into reality. By 1990, The Year of the Waka, 22 waka and their 2000 crew gathered at Waitangi. Ngatokimatawhaorua and others became symbols of Maori unity and pride and an important part of the renaissance of the traditions of carving and voyaging around Aotearoa and beyond. Ngatoki is the story of this great canoe, the longest to be built in modern times, and those who carved and crewed it over the last 80 years.