The double-hulled sailing canoe Fa’afaite has arrived safe and sound in Tauranga Harbour today, after leaving Tahiti on
20 August and crossing the Pacific using traditional navigation.
“The journey has been a tremendous effort by the entire crew,” says Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage Tumu
Whakarae Chief Executive Bernadette Cavanagh.
“Not only have these voyagers just completed an almost month-long journey across Te Moananui a Kiwa, the Pacific Ocean,
guided by the position of the stars, moon and sun as well as other signs in nature like swells and winds, but the crew
spent months preparing for this.
“It’s an honour to have the Fa’afaite crew participate in the Tuia 250 Voyage around Aotearoa New Zealand from October to December this year. They bring the mana of their tupuna Tupaia who
represents the skill and knowledge of Pacific voyagers and was pivotal in communicating with tangata whenua during the
first onshore encounters with Pākehā in 1769.
“The Tuia 250 national commemoration highlights the stories of Tupaia which have often been overshadowed in our history by the feats
of James Cook. Tuia 250 supports events that highlight Tupaia and our links with the Pacific, including the Auckland Museum exhibition Tupaia and the Endeavour and the feature-length documentary film Tupaia’s Endeavour.
“Next month we welcome a delegation of more than 300 people from Tahiti, many whom have undertaken significant
fundraising to attend the Tuia 250 events happening around New Zealand.”
Tuia 250 Voyage Flotilla Kaitiaki Jack Thatcher says the journey of Fa’afaite proves the extraordinary capability and courage of Pacific voyagers who found and settled Aotearoa many generations
ago. Jack was responsible for receiving daily reports from the crew as the vessel sailed 4,300 kilometres across open
"The crew have done an amazing job, holding their course accurately and expertly, whilst Tawhirimatea and Tangaroa
challenged them unceasingly once they came into the Southern Pacific Ocean,” says Thatcher.
“The strong winds, cloudy, rainy days and nights constantly assailing them would have been daunting even under normal
circumstances. Moeata and Titaua however were navigating traditionally without instruments much like how their tupuna,
ancestors, would have done. They were constantly searching for the signs in their ocean environment that enabled them to
pull their fish from the sea just like Maui did.”
The voyage was a first for Moeata Galenon and Titaua Teipoarii as trainee navigators, supported by Ngāti Kahungunu Pwo
navigator Piripi Smith, after months of preparation. The voyage was also captained by 26 year-old India Tabellini, the
first time she has had this senior role on such a substantial journey.
Video footage from on-board the Tahitian vessel Fa’afaite as it made its way from Tahiti. CREDIT: TAYLORMADE PRODUCTIONS. - https://secure.homedrive.co.nz/my/View/a893e0af-17b5-2c22-2fed-576a1385ed1e