Maori Waka on Christchurch Avon River

by 2ways October. 15, 2007 27934 views

Maori Waka (canoe) on Christchurch Avon River, New Zealand

Stretching from the banks of Otakaro (Avon River) at Victory Square out to Bealey Avenue in the years between 1000 and 1500 the loop in the river that encompassed this site was an important mahinga kai (food gathering site) for Maori. At its’ height the pā would have been home to about 800 Maori.

A large variety of food was gathered including tuna (eels), inaka (whitebait), kokopu (native trout), koukoupara (cockabullies), parera (grey ducks) and putakitaki (paradise shelducks).

Directly opposite Puari Pa the first European settlers set up camp, it has been said that English ships were to large to sail past this point, so local Maori with waka helped move some of the settlers further up stream.

It is at this site where your journey with us commences as we share our citys’ birth place and begin your historical waka journey with Katoro Maori Heritage Tours.

2WAYS is a Christchurch-based company who specialises in customising New Zealand Study Packages and Tour Packages for Spanish, Catalan and Chinese clients.

Come with 2WAYS - learn English faster and enjoy your holiday more in New Zealand!

Photo: Ellen Yule

Maori Waka (canoe) on Avon River, Christchurch, New Zealand

Photo: Ellen Yule

A Maori hand-carved waka (canoe) parks on Avon River.

The Christchurch public gathered along Avon riverbank to witness the launch of Maori waka on 4 April 2007.

Two Maori women talk about their ancestor's story in the site where Maori first arrived in Canterbury over 1000 years ago.

Maori waka canoeists

Christchurch mayor Garry Moore announces the launch of Maori waka on Avon River.

Maori canoeists with their permanent face tattoo

A Maori tribe chief delivers an official speech.

Maori canoeists perform haka before the waka is launched.

Maori is a live culture in Aoteaora, New Zealand.

Maori permanent tattoo normally appears on face, shoulders, arms, legs and back.

step 1 - all canoeists touch with paddles both sides of the canoe to start the journey

step 2 - canoeists on left side touch the canoe with paddle while right-side-fellows are just holding their paddles

step 3 - in reverse order

step 4 - all canoeists hold paddles up, meaning ready to speed up

The canoeists try to make a beautiful u-turn in the narrow river.

Got it!

Avon River is one of key elements of Christchurch Beauty.

big smiles after a successful journey

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