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Vaka Paikea’s maiden voyage documented

Thursday 4 May 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National


Vaka Paikea’s maiden voyage documented
Te Puna Marama Voyaging Foundation members say farewell to documentary filmmakers. From Left: Temanava Patai, master navigator Peia Patai, Cecile Marten, Bently Dean (director) and Tom Murray (filmmaker). SUPPLIED/23050225

Vaka Paikea returned to Rarotonga last Friday morning arriving at Te Ava Tapu, Avana Harbour at 9:45am, making it back in good time of 24 hours from its maiden voyage.

The vaka visited its home island of Mauke last week.

Master navigator and captain of Vaka Paikea, Peia Patai said: “It was a nice trip home with good weather and good breeze.”

Patai and they are now preparing for Paikea’s chartered voyage to Samoa at the end of this month.

The journey of Vaka Paikea to Mauke has been documented by Australians Tom Murray, a writer, director and producer, and Bentley Dean, a documentarian, director, producer, cinematographer, and filmmaker. The duo flew to Rarotonga to film the relaunch and homecoming voyage of Paikea to Mauke.

Murray and Dean first came in November last year when they voyaged to Mangaia.

“We are so fortunate to have them document Peia’s journey and Te Puna Marama Voyaging Foundation Trust aspirations,” said Trustee Cecile Marten.

Patai has resumed his weekly programme, in partnership with the Ministry of Corrective Services, for the inmates at Arorangi Prison. The programme covers the theory of sailing followed by practical training.

Part of Te Puna Marama’s education agenda is to develop a pilot rehabilitation programme using the vaka to introduce those on probation and as well as inmates at Arorangi Prison to traditional voyaging and navigation. 

“The main goal of our programme is to help improve the participants’ cultural knowledge and sense of identity as well as to promote positive attitude and behavioural changes,” said Marten.

Te Puna Marama have received confirmation from UNESCO that their grant application to run the Teretereanga Vaka programme in Nga-Pu-Toru has been approved. The project is being planned for August.