Tuaiwa - Waka Kōrero

Waka Ama NZ Newsletter

Hakihea - December

Mahi o te Marama

Wow, so much has changed since our last newsletter – where to start! Since our Waka Kōrero in July we have been working hard to keep our Waka Ama whānau safe and updated as we navigate lockdowns, cancellations, and lots of changes.

For the last 5 months, our office has been working from our own homes. Lara and Debbie in Auckland, Tara in Kerepehi and Amiria in Gisborne. Although we are not together face-to-face, we are very connected via countless zooms, emails, messages, and virtual hugs! We are very much looking forward to our small office team being able to catch up soon. During this time, we have managed to pack in a lot! COVID makes our jobs just a little bit busier, but we take it in our stride and work as hard as we can to keep our Waka Ama whānau safe and informed.

Our thoughts have been with our whānau through Auckland, Northland and Waikato who have had to put their paddles down and team trainings on hold over the past few months. We know the traffic light system has allowed for team training around Aotearoa to kick back up again – and that is exciting for our waka ama whānau to do what they love, with the people they love once again.

Outside of COVID there has been some awesome things happening – our worlds campaign kicking off, our Te Reo Taiohi (TRT) rōpū meeting and getting stuck into some mahi, hitting 6,000 affiliated paddlers, some of our whānau joining the International Va’a Federation Committees and so much more.

Last week our Board reviewed the current COVID-19 information available and have made the very difficult decision that our Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Waka Ama Sprint Nationals will be cancelled for 2022. The decision was not taken lightly and has been made, first and foremost, with the safety of everyone in mind. We are sad that we will not be heading to Karāpiro to see all your smiling faces – but look forward to the time when we will head there next! Keep an eye on our Website and social media over the summer as we connect our Waka Ama whānau virtually.

Lastly to all our waka ama whānau who are essential workers and health professionals, we would like to thank you all for the mahi you have done and continue to do to protect and help us all while putting your own lives and whānau at risk.

We know this has been said a lot but over the next few months as we navigate the traffic light system and summer festivities – look after each other, be kind and make decisions that will help keep you and your whānau safe during this time.

Ngā mihi mahana ki a tātou katoa

Lara, Deb, Amiria and Tara.

COVID-19 Protection Framework

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Waka Ama National Sprints Cancellation

The Waka Ama New Zealand Board have reviewed the current COVID-19 information available and have made the very difficult decision that the Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Waka Ama Sprint Nationals will be cancelled for 2022.

We know that this will be very disappointing for all our regions, member clubs, paddlers, volunteers and whānau and we share in that disappointment. The decision was not taken lightly and has been made, first and foremost, with the safety of everyone in mind.

For further information please click here

This will be the first time in 32 years, since the event started in 1990, that we will not have a Waka Ama Sprint Nationals. This event has grown to become part of many of our lives and a highlight on our Waka Ama calendar, an opportunity to come together, catch up with friends and whānau, make new friends, share culture, compete on the water and celebrate a sport and kaupapa that gives us all so much.

We plan to provide opportunities for everyone to share their Nationals experiences, virtually through the sharing of stories, photos and footage and celebrate the event even though it cannot take place next year.

World Club and Elite Sprints Info

Congratulations to the following appointed coaches for our 2022 World Elite Sprints Campaign:

  • Kiwi Campbell (Elite & J19 Women's Head Coach)

  • Sieda Tureia (Elite & J19 Women's Assistant Coach)

  • Patrick Rimene (Junior 19 Men's Coach)

Waka Ama NZ and our coaches are committed to running a full Elite Campaign and providing a pathway for our Waka Ama paddlers to be selected to represent Aotearoa, regardless of whether COVID prevents teams from travelling to the World Sprints - we will keep everyone updated on future opportunities if for any reason the World Sprints Event in London is impacted by COVID.

We will put out some further information shortly regarding what the plan moving forward will be for qualification to World Sprint Championships in both teams and W1’s now that the 2022 Sprint Nationals are cancelled.

A reminder that the Club Intents for the World Club Sprint Champs – closes on the 13th December 2021.

You can find all of the World Club and Elite Sprint information here

World Club Sprints Info Session

Waka Ama NZ hosted an information session for anyone who wished to attend on Wednesday 17th November via Zoom. This was an opportunity for us to share all the information we have as well as answer questions.

We know there are many questions regarding the World Sprints, especially related to the COVID environment that we are living in. We want to ensure that clubs submit intents with a full understanding of all the information.

Click here for the recorded version of the information session

Wāhine in Waka Ama Survey

For many years, across nearly every age group, there have been more wāhine than tāne that take part in Waka Ama; this is not common among many sporting codes in Aotearoa.

The purpose of this survey was to try and figure out why there are so many wāhine taking part and help us get even more wāhine involved in Waka Ama. We sent out a simple survey via email, newsletter, our website, and social media channels. We also contacted a number of Waka Ama clubs, and external stakeholders such as Sport NZ and Women in Sport Aotearoa to share this survey across their social media platforms.

The survey had an incredible response rate over the 6 weeks that it was live with over 400 wāhine providing us with feedback. A $300 Prezzy Card was given to an affiliated paddler whose name was drawn from the survey responses – congratulations to Pauline Blair from Nga Hoe Horo for being our lucky winner. Results from the survey will be shared over the next few months.

Elected Board Member - Kiwi Campbell

Thank you to all of the clubs that voted in the recent Board election process. The voting closed on Monday 8th November and the successful Nominee elected by our member clubs to the Board of Waka Ama New Zealand is Kiwi Campbell.

We would like to acknowledge and thank Auriole Ruka, Fole Finau and Babe Kapa for also standing for the Board election on this occasion.

Kiwi's official term on the Board will commence at our AGM in January 2022.

The Board of Waka Ama New Zealand is excited to welcome Kiwi as a Board member and look forward to working with her to achieve the vision and outcomes of Waka Ama in Aotearoa.

Te Reo Taiohi o Ngā Kaihoe o Aotearoa - Rōpū Intro!

Our Te Reo Taiohi (TRT) rōpū has kicked off well and we are lucky to have an amazing group of rangatahi involved, from all different backgrounds and areas around Aotearoa – they have blown us away already.

The focus for 2021 was establishing the rōpū and to whakawhanaungatanga. Unfortunately, due to restrictions, we were not able to host our face-to-face weekend wānanga with the roopu, however there was good engagement and attendance with the online hui held.

The members are below:

We are looking forward to sharing some awesome mahi, kaupapa and whakaaro from this rōpū moving forward. If you aren’t already - follow us on Instagram as they takeover and showcase some of their mahi on a Rangatahi friendly platform.

Ka pū te ruha, ka hao te rangatahi' - Once the old fishing net is worn, it is put aside to make way for the new fishing net'

For more information on this rōpu and their mahi - click here

International Va’a Federation Committees

We are pleased to congratulate three members of our Waka Ama whānau on their appointments to the following IVF Committees:

  • Marcus Thompson (Otaki Waka Ama and New Zealand Para Va'a representative) - Para Va'a Committee.

  • Zalene Douglas (Waka Ama NZ Board Chair) - Bylaws Committee

  • Joern Scherzer (Hoe Tonga Board Chair & PCKC Club Member) - Race Rule Committee

We have no doubt Marcus, Zalene and Joern will be valuable members of these committees with their skills, passion and knowledge.

6,000 affiliated members

For the first time in the history of Waka Ama NZ, we reached 6,000 affiliated paddlers in Aotearoa!

This is no mean feat and we couldn't have reached this milestone without our regions, clubs, and all of you!

Thanks to the support of Vaikobi and Tai Paddles we we’re able to giveaway vouchers to 3 lucky affiliated paddlers below!

2020-2021 Waka Ama Season - best bits!

​After our 2020-2021 Waka Ama Season we wanted to reflect on the year that was, our Waka Ama season runs from 1st October to the 30 September.

Ngā mihi nui ki a tātou - our paddlers, coaches, managers, mums, dads, uncles and aunties, nannies, volunteers, clubs, regions and hapori who have made this one of our best seasons yet! Thank you for all of the time, effort and most importantly aroha you have given to our sport.

Thank you to our wider Waka Ama whānau - Sport NZ, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, Vaikobi, Water Safety NZ, Maritime NZ who have supported us throughout the year.

It has been an amazing year with a few challenges along the way. We want to acknowledge those from within our Waka Ama whānau that are no longer with us. Mihi ana ki ngā tini aituā kua wehe atu ki a tū o te ārai, moe mai, moe mai, moe mai rā.

We are looking forward to what the 2021-2022 season brings!

Click here for the full kōrero

Pictured - Three very special people were inducted to Tohu Whakarewa Tangata o Ngā Kaihoe o Aotearoa. Left: Vivienne Harvey. Top right: George Thomas Bottom Right: Marinna Millanta-Lowrey.

Waka Ama NZ COVID-19 Vaccine Webinar

It is important to Waka Ama New Zealand that our community and our Waka Ama whānau are as safe and protected as possible. There are lots of measures that we can all take to help protect ourselves and our whānau - One of the biggest tools we have available for protection is the COVID 19 Vaccine.

Being fully vaccinated, if you are eligible, will help ensure our community is safe from the virus, it will also help to protect those who are not eligible to receive the vaccine. Waka Ama New Zealand encourages our entire waka ama community to get vaccinated if you are within the eligible ages.

On Wednesday 13th October at 7 pm we hosted a Webinar that was open for anyone to attend and hear from leading medical practitioners (who are also part of our waka ama whānau), who talked about the COVID-19 vaccine and answered questions.

Thank you to our amazing Medical Team Dr Matire Harwood, Dr Jamie-Lee Rahiri and Dr Anthony Jordan for giving us their time and knowledge for this kaupapa!

Follow the link below to watch the full webinar or click here

Waka Ama NZ COVID-19 Vaccine Webinar

Coaching Courses Wrap Up

The 2021 coaching courses returned kanohi ki te kanohi after a 2020 coaching season of online courses due to COVID restrictions. We were fortunate enough to deliver 27 courses to 439 participants across Aotearoa in face to face settings, before returning to online zoom courses near the end of the coaching season due to COVID restrictions. New development coaching courses were delivered this season: How to Coach W1 Basics, Coaching Sprint Racing Skills and Coaching Distance Racing Skills, all of which were well received by our waka ama whānau.

Thank you to our amazing coaching facilitators for all the work and travel done to deliver these coaching courses to our waka ama whānau; Tupuria King, Corrina Gage, Ngāhuia Mita, and Todd Jago.

Thank you to those who supported our courses throughout the year, we look forward to providing more opportunities for our coaches in the future.

That’s all from us! Thanks reading e te whānau!

Keep an eye on our website and social media pages as we navigate this Summer.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding the above!

Ngā mihi o te Kirihimete me te Tau Hou - Seasons greetings for Christmas and the New Year

Ngā mihi maioha ki a tātou katoa