Story: Kauri forest

Kauri waka

A crew paddles the waka (canoe), Ngātokimatawhaorua, built from kauri for the 1940 centennial of the Treaty of Waitangi. Following traditional methods, the waka took years to make. In the 1930s, two kauri trees in Puketī Forest and a third at Tūtāmoe were felled by Ngāpuhi bushmen. One tree was used for the middle section, the second for the two end sections, and the third for the top strakes. Five men took five hours using axe and cross-cut saw to fell the largest tree, 3 metres in diameter, for the central section. They spent three months adzing the 21-metre log into shape. It was then dragged out of the bush by a team of bullocks – a journey that took three weeks. After it had been soaked in water for three months, shaping and carving began, and the waka was not complete for another 27 months.

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How to cite this page:

Joanna Orwin, 'Kauri forest - Using kauri', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/video/10031/kauri-waka (accessed 20 September 2021)

Story by Joanna Orwin, published 24 Sep 2007