Topic: Entertainment

Tāmaki Herenga Waka festival set to impress

By Tepara Koti
  • Auckland
Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival - Image /

The third annual Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival, to be held over Auckland Anniversary weekend, is set to impress with even more activities and sights for young and old.

The festival, which started in 2016, has grown to encompass the ANZ Viaduct Events Centre and Viaduct Harbour.

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) General Manager Steve Armitage says, “The festival’s relaxed, welcoming and friendly vibe has been a big hit with families in the first two years of the festival."

For three days, from Saturday 27th to Monday 29th January, visitors can experience waka parades and rides, enjoy a range of music, games and craft activities, and get a first glimpse at the new Vector lights on the Auckland Harbour.

Visitors can try their hand at traditional Māori games using poi, rākau (sticks), and pōtaka (spinning tops), as well as getting a temporary moko.  They can also check out a range of digital games and apps that help people learn basic te reo Māori and Māori stories and history.

Armitage says, "It’s truly a unique day out – where else in the world can you sail on an ocean-going waka like Moana, listen to exciting stories in te reo Māori and English, and get hands-on with games and craft, all while sampling the delicious kai on offer.”

The highly-anticipated new Pipi Mā cartoon will be screening throughout the festival.  The cartoon was created by Kristin and Hōhepa Tuahine, the couple behind the world's first te reo Māori speaking dolls.

Maimoa Music will be performing on the Monday afternoon to wrap up the exciting weekend.
Festival Mana Whenua Steering Group Chair Hau Rawiri says that Auckland is home to more than 180 ethnicities and the region’s mana whenua can provide the platform for the people of Tāmaki Makaurau to learn about and understand each other, and to share the many things all cultures have in common, like music, art, games and good food.

“This is about showing tamariki and mokopuna of all backgrounds that it’s cool to kōrero and use some te reo Māori, no matter what your cultural identity; to see and do and interact with modern Māori technology, like digital games, or try their hands at traditional things, like weaving, playing with poi or rākau or paddling a waka.”

For more information about the Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival, check out