Waka ama benefits the community

14 August, 2020

Te Rūnaka o Waihōpai activities facilitator Hita Neho with the newly-acquired waka and safety equipment, all ready to take to the water. Photo: Petrina Wright

 

About the community group/organisation/individual

Te Rūnaka o Waihōpai, based at Murihiku Marae, Invercargill, is an iwi-based organisation which provides whanau engagement and advocacy, cultural development, social service delivery and kaitiakitanga for natural resources. The rūnaka was established in April 2000.

 

What the grant went towards

Te Rūnaka o Waihōpai received a grant of $5000 from the ILT Foundation towards the purchase of necessary safety equipment for waka ama, including life jackets and paddles.

 

What the grant means to the community group/organisation

Project manager Meg Adamson, of Te Rūnaka o Waihōpai said the grant had enabled them to teach paddling skills and safety in and on the water and provide healthy physical activity. The sport encompassed a holistic approach-Hauora, a spiritual connection to te ao Maori with knowledge and respect for cultural practices- tikanga.

The waka would provide a means for whanau, community and importantly rakatahi to become involved in waka ama.  There had been a lot of interest through schools and they now had the means to encourage students to become involved, she said.

“Waka Ama is not just a sport but also a vehicle for identity, pride and community.

“Without the support from the ILT this would not have been possible and Waihōpai Rūnaka is truly grateful.”