Traditional navigational waka Marumaru Atua is preparing its journey from Aotearoa back home to Rarotonga.
Navigator Tua Pittman says its purpose is to attend and celebrate Rarotonga’s 50 years of self-governance.
"In the 50 years of self-governance, the voyaging society has played an important part in our country," says Pittman.
55-year-old Pittman likens his country of Rarotonga to a waka where it is a strong metaphor for the survival of a community in trying conditions.
"If you relate that to a community and an island, we see the waka as an island and our waka members as the community."
The voyage from Auckland to Rarotonga will take 12 to 16 days and Marumaru Atua will be accompanied by New Zealand waka Te Matau a Māui and Haunui.
Upon the arrival of Marumaru Atua to Rarotonga, it will also mark the beginning of Te Manava Vaka – the essence and origin of culture and voyaging.