Back in September the Marumaru Atua lead 3 other traditional Vaka as they set sail from Rarotonga. Using mainly traditional navigation practices, they travelled via Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu, and the east coast of Australia, before sailing into Sydney Harbour for the official opening of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Parks Congress on November 12. From there 4 more Vaka joined the fleet to sail on to Aotearoa.
The significance of the voyage is to convey regional messages about the critical need to respect and protect important natural places and resources.
“Pacific Islanders have an intimate connection with their seas and land and continue to find respectful and resourceful ways to sustain the natural places that they directly rely on for their livelihood and future. The rest of the world is also increasingly dependent on the natural bounty of the region and Pacific peoples want others to understand the importance of treating these natural resources very wisely. It’s a beautiful and fitting way of drawing attention to the way the Pacific region values its important natural places and aspires to manage them,” says Tony O’Keeffe, Protected Areas Coordinator, BIOPAMA Programme, at IUCN Oceania
Witness the magic and join the welcome as this spectacular fleet of traditional vaka arrive at Okahu Bay in Auckland this coming Sunday.