A Waka Odyssey

Set the Steering Paddle

12 February 2018

On Day 12 of our Waka Odyssey digital journey – look back at the wake of your coming, pick up your star in the future, and set the steering paddle.

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Day 12 Set the Steering Paddle Watch video

Photo: Vanessa Rushton

In Day 12 of our digital A Waka Odyssey  journey, we share Part Three in an illustrated time-lapse of six works depicting a waka journey, accompanied by spoken word poetry.

Titled Set the Steering Paddle, co-creator and content creation sprint participant, Moana Swan was inspired by his time voyaging in the Pacific, “when you are at sea for a long time your senses and cognition become heightened. You become attuned to the collective memories of generations of voyagers who passed along these same ocean routes.” 

A waka voyage gives you time for reflection, for realising your place among your tupuna and for understanding how small you are on the wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean. 

Fellow co-creator Matt Ritani said that creating this piece showed him the importance of working in an inter-generational environment, and the similarities to being on a waka voyage. “You are guided, supported and loved by those above you.”

Created by Bek Coogan, Nathalie Evans, Georgie Johnson, Matt Ritani, Gaylene Sheehan, Moana Swan and Morgana Watson for A Waka Odyssey content creation sprint. Medium: Charcoal, paper, illustrated time-lapse.


Each day, starting  1 February 2018, we will share new videos and stories online so you too can join the journey in the lead up to the start of A Waka Odyssey, 23 February – 4 March 2018. Be part of the story via our website festival.co.nz/waka, on the New Zealand Festival's Facebook and Instagram pages, or using the hashtag #NZWaka. 


Join in A Waka Odyssey celebrations at the spectacular theatrical extravaganza KupeFestival opening night set on Wellington's waterfront; the Kupe Landing: Petone Family Day – a fun beach party for all the whānau; and the Kupe Dreaming series of waka-themed community events and activities. 

Haere mai – Come on board. 

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