Topic: Waka Ama

#WakaWorlds - The Green and Gold Māori

By Peata Melbourne
  • Australia

When eyes first meet the paddlers from Redcliffe, there’s no mistaking their Māori origins.

Naturally, the assumption is they, like the rest of the 500-odd strong contingent from Aotearoa, are in Tahiti paddling for their country.

But it’s the green and gold tops they flaunt that confuses the onlooker.

Then the penny drops!  The four-man squad full of brown faces are the "mozzies from across the ditch" here to represent Redcliffe, Australia.

Jasmine Huymans says, “They (Kiwis) all do a bit of a double take, ‘Oh you’re Māori but you’re wearing the Australian top?”

Most of the paddlers in the Open Women division have been paddling for less than a year but have the heart, and now the experience.

“We’ve paddled in these conditions before but I think with the hype of paddling against other teams more experienced, it was really good and I think our team did awesome [sic],” says Nadine Parkinson.