Ngā Tauira Māori amped for Queen Lili’uokalani canoe race in Hawai’i


They’re off to the world’s largest
waka ama event in Hawai’i. Nga Tauira Maori, the Maori student
association of Auckland University, leaves today to represent NZ
against some of the world’s best in the sport. The cohort contains a brother
and sister duo. Pere Wihongi caught up
with the pair. Paddles set and ready,
but whose? They belong to Nga Tauira Maori
who are in Hawaii. The excitement
hasn’t really settled in me, it’s our honour and privilege to win this all-expenses
paid trip to Hawaii. Yes, this group won the Auckland
University Great Boat Race where they paddled 29 kilometres, from the Auckland Viaduct
to Rangitoto, climb the mountain, then returned. The winners received
a free trip to Hawai’i. The heat –
we’ve been practising in the cold. It’s winter here,
but it’s warm there. And of the 8 who are going, it’s a brother and sister duo
from the Ormsby family. One of the other things
making me excited to leave is going with this team,
including my sister. A sister who’s set
goals to achieve for them both. Not just any connection, but an understanding
between the both of them and the rest of the team. Not really that hard,
because she knows her stuff. She’s been paddling
for a long time and has the experience
and knowledge. I’m the one following her. There are two other paddling teams
from different universities. They remain as a benchmark
to hopefully beat. We plan to be ready. The main goal
is to beat the other uni teams. The main thing is we try, we arrive there
to support the event and hopefully
we’ll rise to the challenge. Today they turn their sights to Hawai’i flying out to the annual
Queen Lili’uokalani Memorial Races, the biggest paddling race
in the world. Pere Wihongi, Te Karere.

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