Canoeing is more than sport, it’s keeping culture alive for a community of Pakuranga paddlers.
Waka ama or canoes were pivotal to the discovery of new lands for ancient Polynesians who also brought with them history, atua (gods), customs and values.
Today, the Pakuranga Outrigger Canoe Club Te Tahawai O Pakuranga Inc (POCC) combines the purpose of early canoeists with recreational values.
"Our membership numbers have increased by 75% over the past five years indicating a growing interest in waka ama in our community. Our members compete locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
Recent funding from Foundation North has enabled us to purchase three W6 waka ama to cater to our growing numbers. This means we are able to increase our training times and provide more of our members opportunities to participate at social and competitive levels”
The canoe club is based at the Tiraumea Reserve in Pakuranga and trains along the Tamaki Estuary. Its growing popularity is also supported by the undertaking of skills training in water safety, surf/sea rescue and ocean knowledge by all its participants.
“Our members range in age from 6 to 60 years and come from many different backgrounds and abilities. We welcome anyone who wants to have a go at waka ama!” - Steve Rangi, Chair