Topic: Waka Ama

Veteran paddler supports next generation

By Tema Hemi
  • North Island: West Coast

Ngā Paerangi descendant Howard Hyland is a veteran in Waka Ama and won gold and silver in the over 70s at this year's Worlds in Tahiti. Although he is now retired, he continues to support the up and coming generation of paddlers. 

Hyland came out of retirement to attend last year's Worlds in Tahiti, adding another milestone to his illustrious career. Hyland founded the Whanganui River Outrigger Canoe club in 2016 and was also instrumental in the establishment of the Tuatara Waka Ama Club in Whakatāne. 

Over the years Hyland has been appointed New Zealand senior Waka Ama coach and has held a number of administrative roles within the Te Puku o te Ika region. Hyland has been a regular competitor at Waka Ama nationals and has been to 11 world championship regattas.

Hyland tells us what he accomplished at the World Waka Ama competition in Tahiti last year and why he moved back to his home town of Whanganui, "We were Masters 70s we won the Gold in the turn race and we came 2nd we won the silver medal in the 500m straight. I came here specifically for that reason, was to start this club, and share my resources I have a lot of gear that most clubs would like. I'm pleased with the way and proud of the way Waka Ama is heading for our people."

Hyland says these days it's all about the kids, "Two years ago I retired from waka ama to look after kids, to teach them the kaupapa. The future of waka ama is the kids, the tamariki."