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Art Deco with a difference

Media Release

The Napier City Council’s support of this year’s Tremains Art Deco Weekend includes backing the Art Deco Powhiri and Waka Experience, led by Te Matau a Maui Voyaging Trust.

The Trust received a Community Development grant from the Council towards these events.

Members of the public are invited to join local iwi, the Art Deco Trust, Council representatives and the Trust for the Tremains Art Deco Weekend official Maori opening, a free event. It will run for an hour from 9am Tuesday 17 February. Anyone interested in attending should meet at 8.50am, 32 West Quay, Ahuriri.

The Trust’s traditional double hulled waka will be welcomed into the marina by local kaumatua and performance groups. People are welcome to take a tour on board the waka afterwards.

This is the second year the waka, named Te Matau a Maui, or the fish hook of Maui, has been involved in Tremains Art Deco Weekend.

The Trust will also be offering five two-hour long Waka Experiences throughout Tremains Art Deco Weekend. During the sailings guests will be treated to tasting platters inspired by indigenous cuisine and Hawke’s Bay produce while they hear local Maori history and legends, learn about place names, areas of cultural significance and what life was like for local Maori prior to the 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake.

Friday’s twilight sailing will have an added bonus for waka guests, who will be able to view the Flying Display from the water.

Weekend organisers felt the waka’s inclusion in one of Hawke’s Bay’s biggest weekends was more than suitable, Event Manager Peter Mooney said. “It is easy to forget that local Maori were as badly affected by the earthquake as the pakeha population. These trips provide an insight into how Maori were affected by the quake as well as a lesson in traditional sailing techniques.”

The support and encouragement of the Council’s community development team was a strong factor in the Trust deciding to become part of Tremains Art Deco Weekend, said Event Coordinator Honoria Ropiha. “Waka trips bring a different side to the Weekend, the combination of Maori stories, history and a water based activity makes it a unique experience.”

The waka has been permanently berthed at Ahuriri since returning from a two year voyage around the Pacific. A combination of traditional and modern technology, the waka is based on a traditional Tipairua Polynesian waka design and incorporates modern technology, with solar panels powering the auxiliary engines. It can run a traditional Polynesian sailing rig as well as a standard Bermuda rig.

Tickets for the Waka Experiences cost $115 per person and bookings are essential.

For more information, visit the Art Deco Trust website or the Waka Experience website.

19 May 2015

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