Constructing from a stable basis – The Gisborne Herald
“Waka ama is in an excellent house”.
Aotearoa’s first waka ama membership seeks to construct on the information base of its founder and broaden its attain among the many folks of Tairawhiti.
Matahi Brightwell shaped the Mareikura Canoe Membership (now the Mareikura Waka Ama Membership) after he and his spouse Raipoia got here to Gisborne in response to a request from his sculpture academics Rua Kaika and Kohe Webster that Matahi deliver canoe tradition again to the area.
In 1985, Brightwell and his stepfather Francis Cowan, accompanied by a small crew, sailed the double-hull touring canoe Hawaikinui from the Society Islands to New Zealand.
Brightwell had lower the bushes, formed the hulls and made the sculptures of the craft.
Raised in Masterton, he had realized – largely on marae for 11 years – traditions related to carving, canoe-building, tattooing, historical past and family tree.
Bored with listening to that the Maori did not have the know-how to sail from East Polynesia to New Zealand, he determined to construct a conventional craft and show it might be performed. He went to Tahiti to finish his undertaking.
Francis Cowan had constructed a double-hulled canoe in Tahiti within the Sixties however misplaced it in a shed hearth. He heard of the younger Maori sculptor’s ship, and so they joined forces, accomplished it in Tahiti, and set sail for a Society Island.
Pushed alongside the coast since their deliberate arrival in Auckland, they agreed to a fishing boat tow for the previous few miles to Wharekahika (Hicks Bay), however in any other case the journey went unassisted.
Francis Cowan sailed by means of the celebs and, in a 200-page handbook, Brightwell recounted how he did it.
Cowan’s daughter, Raipoia and Matahi Brightwell, have been married in 1981, and Raipoia was a part of the bottom help crew for the Hawaikinui journey.
Matahi and Raipoia settled in Gisborne, the tribal space of Matahi’s mom, Hinerangi Whakataka. Matahi did a lot of the sculpture, conceptualized the undertaking, and oversaw the youth’s contribution to constructing a waka taua (struggle canoe), Te Aio o Nukutaimemeha.
He additionally based the Mareikura Canoe Membership, a enterprise by which he had the assistance and help of Raipoia. She continued to play an important position in administration, coaching and paddling.
As well as, Matahi has traveled the nation to reintroduce waka ama to Maori communities. On this, his participation in Hawaikinui’s journey helped set up his credentials. From its humble beginnings, waka ama has grown into the expansion crew sport amongst Maori, particularly, but additionally amongst a rising variety of Pacific Islands and Pakeha.
This pioneering work within the 80s, 90s and early 2000s has paid off in the long run lately. Younger individuals who realized the abilities and self-discipline of waka ama paddling reached maturity, made their approach by means of life and returned to the membership – usually with sons, daughters, nephews or nieces – and provides again by means of teaching or membership administration. A number of have returned to the waka.
The pattern was manifested within the power of the membership’s presence on the nationwide dash championships on Lake Karapiro in January.
About twenty Mareikura groups have been enrolled in courses starting from Taitama and Taitamahine (dwarf girls and boys) to mastery of women and men.
Raipoia Brightwell mentioned it was the membership’s largest entry to the championships lately, and it was the results of extra members and extra prepared to develop into coaches and managers.
The membership held “snack” classes as soon as every week to extend membership, and benefited from the return of former junior paddlers who have been prepared to educate groups, lowering the load on the membership’s extra senior members.
As well as, the membership loved notable success on the rostrum. Jarrod Hill gained the lads’s W1 J16 500m closing and climbed one rating to complete fifth within the J19 males’s 250m.
Gizzy Gurlz gained the flat closing of the Taitamahine (midget ladies) W6 250m.
The Mareikura Kaleegaa and Hinetekapua crews mixed to win silver within the W12 girls’s intermediate 500m.
The bronze medals went to the male crew of the Mareikura J16 Hiro within the 1000m W6; the mixed Nga Tama Toa and Ease Up crews within the J19 males’s W12 500m; and Te Pikinga within the masters W12 500m and W6 1000m.
Mareikura additionally contributed to the preparation of paddlers Horouta Akayshia Williams, gold medalist in W1 250m and 500m girls, and Aoatea Gardner, silver medalist in W1 500m girls J16.
Each had developed their paddling expertise below the steering of Matahi Brightwell, and – along with their Horouta crew classes – participated within the Mareikura W1 coaching in preparation for the Nationwide Dash Championships.
Raipoia Brightwell and Denise Tapp, each eligible to compete within the Golden Masters division (60-69), have been on the Te Pikinga W6 and W12 crews, paddling with and in opposition to feminine mistresses aged 40 to 49.
Grow to be champions, do what they love
One of many “roped” coaches to affix the W12 Te Pikinga crew was Joelene Takai, however she was no inexperienced crow.
She began paddling as a junior within the Nineteen Nineties, gained quite a few medals and competed in world championships. However she qualifies that with the commentary that the variety of golf equipment competing within the first nationwide leagues might be counted in your fingers, and that the champions have been completed in a day or two.
“If you happen to have been below 20 you have been a junior and for those who completed you have been a senior,” Takai mentioned.
In distinction, almost 3,500 paddlers from 66 golf equipment competed within the thirty second Annual Nationwide Waka Ama Dash Championships, which happened over seven days at Lake Karapiro in January.
Takai left Gisborne in 2012 and returned (from Hamilton) in 2018.
“I returned to the waka ama as a result of my nephews and nieces are there. They’re a part of the groups that I coach.
This yr she coached the intermediate Mareikura ladies and helped with the J16 males. She can also be a member of the membership committee.
“I like what sport brings out in our rangatahi (younger folks),” Takai mentioned.
“Plus, they’ll develop into nationwide champions and world champions simply by doing issues they love. It is in our DNA.
On a sensible stage, committee members are assured that the membership is healthier positioned than ever to make progress in offering a storage shed for the waka ama and different membership tools at Anzac Park.
“Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti and the Gisborne District Council have launched the korero on the opportunity of a water sports activities heart at Anzac Park,” Takai mentioned.
“We simply need a storage shed.”
They’d been attempting to get one for nearly 20 years, and now they’d their “geese lined up.”
“Our plans are there, we’ve got gone by means of the feasibility report stage and we are actually within the strategy of making use of for funding to trusts and others,” she mentioned.
“We have now cash from 15 years in the past to generate curiosity. . . scorching sausages and raffles. On the time, we solely needed a tin shed. However we’ve got expanded. All of our assets are within the hangars of the folks; we solely take them out once they want them. “
And the membership had its personal information retailer in Matahi Brightwell, she mentioned.
Though his affect was primarily within the space of waka ama coaching, methods and competitors, he additionally had intensive information of celestial navigation, sculpture, canoe constructing and the traditions regarding all of those. areas. This information was an incredible useful resource.
“Maori was once seafarers, however we spend most of our time on the river,” Takai mentioned.
“We will develop that, and over the previous two or three years we have been enthusiastic about what we are able to provide our workers. Waka ama is in an excellent house; what else can we provide? It has been an amazing journey for us. We expect we’re prepared for what this brings. “
Te Pikinga energy: Mareikura Waka Ama Membership’s feminine mistress crew Te Pikinga performs one in every of three turns within the W6 1000m closing, the place they completed third, on the Waka Ama Nationwide Dash Championships at Lake Karapiro in January. Members of the Te Pikinga crew are (from the entrance, some obscured): Denise Tapp, Kara Te Whata-Maynard, Sheryl Tuari, Naomi Whitewood, Atareta Kemp and Raipoia Brightwell. Images by Garrick Cameron
INDIVIDUAL SPRINT WINNER: Mareikura Waka Ama Membership paddler Jarrod Hill celebrates his victory within the males’s W1 J16 500 meters closing.
DOUBLE HULL BRONZE: The mixed Nga Tama Toa and Ease Up crews, from the Mareikura Waka Ama Membership, are on their method to third place within the J19 males’s W12 500m closing. They’re (left hull, entrance view): John Horua, Silas Brown, Manaia Tuari, Hayze Nepia, Whakaruru Waitai-Te Kurapa and Jai Henare-Hiki. Proper hull: Wiremu Maxwell, Huatahi Patuwai, Uetaha Wanoa, Zekei Collier, Te Ariki Pomana and Matiu Anderson.