“The voyaging waka settles in readiness, food, seed and small animals, garments, cutting implements and our fire-rocks are ready. All the old teachings are gathered as well.”

“At sea the nights of discovery are so deep that we feel collapsed within them. The spiritual lore we are under means there is little separation between worlds. In navigating both the great ocean and our fears we look within, or above to the gleaming pathways of Ranginui, the parent sky.”

“We tell stories of the distant ancestor, Mäui, who fished up the land we must surely see soon; of the time that one of our ancient grandmothers took back power that was stolen and used it to look after the spirits of the dead. One of my uncles claims our relation had no need of a waka and arrived at the destination we speed towards on the back of a whale! Each day is a mixture of hardship and amazement.”

“It was a calm morning and I was half dozing when my wife Hine first saw a sign of land. Her infinite watchfulness meant she noticed the unusual wisps of cloud that lay stretched in the sky, and, beneath, the first etchings of an expanse that confirmed our beliefs. Her cry rang into the clear air. "He Ao! He Aotea! He Aotearoa!" (A cloud! A white cloud! A long white cloud!) And so the sanctuary appearing before us was named Aotearoa, (land of the) long white cloud.”

(Interpreted by: Roma Potiki)


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