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Tahuhu Kōrero | Club History

Te Waka Pounamu Outrigger Canoe Club (TWP) was formed in 2000 by a group of paddlers who desired to grow the sport of waka ama in Ōtautahi / Christchurch, particularly amongst the Māori community and with a focus on rangatahi (youth).  There was also a desire to move their club from the original home of waka ama in the city at Owles Terrace on the Ōtākaro /Avon River, to a base within Whakaraupō (Lyttelton Harbour).

To achieve this the club came up with a name, developed a club constitution, engaged with local manawhenua (Ngāti Wheke) and held a number of hui before registering as a charitable trust on 18 June 2001. The next step involved first investigating and then securing a home at the Naval Point Club in the same year.  This move started an important relationship that has become a key part of the Naval Point community, with TWP being the first waka club at Naval Point and in the wider harbour area.

A final step in getting the club up and running was fundraising and purchasing equipment, including the clubs first ever six person canoe - Matariki (an orange Moananui Mahimahi) in 2002.  Later that year came two Tahitian styled six person waka made in Christchurch - Kawakawa and Takiwai. This was followed by the purchasing of the clubs trailer in 2005 - made and partly sponsored by local firm Lyttelton Engineering, and funded by the Canterbury Community Trust. Another six person waka was purchased in 2007 – Kahuraki, followed by a W2 (Inaka), a further W6 (Kahotea), a V3 (Totoweka), another W2 (Auhuka) and most recently a number of singles.

Being a successful and competitive racing club was also important to the formation of the club, with number of founding members having competed at the 1998 IVF World Championships in Fiji as well as the NZ Sprint Nationals in 1999.  From 2001, TWP crews began attending the national sprints, as well as the national long distance championships and many local and regional events.  It was also responsible for organising the first ever South Island Sprints Championships at Rāpaki in December 2002, as well as initiating the Whakaraupō Marathon Series/Challenge in 2003 - a race that is still held in autumn each year. The club was also involved in Dragon Boating until 2004, wining numerous national medals.

A summary of key club achievements includes:

  • 2002:  First National Sprint Final (Tokarewa: Open Men W6 500m)

  • 2006  First NZ Representative and World Sprint Champion (Jack Wormald: Open Men W12 500m)

  • 2008:  First National Sprint Medal (Aoraki Dogfish: Bronze - Open Men W12 500m with Te Awa Haku)

  • 2011:  First outright National Sprint Medal (Aoraki Matatū: Bronze - Open Men W6 500m)

  • 2013:  First National Long Distance Medal / Title (Barbara Dolamore & David Patterson: Gold - Master Mixed W2 15km)

  • 2014:  First National Long Distance Individual Medal (Craig Pauling: Bronze - Open Men V1 15km)

  • 2015:  First National Sprint Individual Medal (Ross Gilray: Silver - Master Men W1 500m)

  • 2016:  First National Sprint Title (Aoraki Matatū: Gold - Master Men W6 500m)

  • 2016:  First World Sprint Title (Pineula Matatū: Gold - Master Men W12 500m) and Individual Medal (Adrian Tukaki - Bronze, Master Men W1 500m)

  • 2017:  First NZ Adaptive Representative (Ryan Pearce: Inaugural IVF World Long Distance Champs)

  • 2018:  First National Sprint Title Double (Aoraki Matatū: Gold - Master Men W6 1000m & 500m)

  • 2021:  First National Sprint Individual Champion (Ross Gilray: Snr Master Men W1 500) and First National Junior Title / Medal (Metua Cranwell & Mereana Morgan: Gold - J16 W2 10km)

TWP paddlers have also experienced and tasted success in other national and international events including:

  • Takapuna Beach Cup (Gold - 2015, 2016 & 2017 42km W6 Master Men; Gold 2017 - 24km W2 Master Mixed);

  • Moloka'i Hoe Crossing, Hawai'i (2008 & 2011)

  • Gold Coast Cup, Australia (2010 & 2011)

  • Vaka Eiva, Rarotonga (2011-19)

  • IVF World Sprints: Fiji (1998); New Zealand (2004); Sacramento (2008); Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2014); Sunshine Coast, Australia (2016); Tahiti (2018)

  • IVF World Long Distance Championships: Tahiti (2017)

Whakanui i Te Rua Tekau Tau / 20th Anniversary

In July 2021, Te Waka Pounamu celebrated our 20th Anniversary by holding a whanau focused dinner at the Te Herenga Waka Building at He Waka Tapu in Aranui. 


At the dinner, the club celebrated achievements over its history and recognised four Life Members as 'Iti Kahuraki' - these members are all kaumātua of the club and included: Te Roughan, Kororia Crump, Richard Crump and Brian Parker. 


Aoraki Matatū presented the club framed race tops and medals from the 2016 World Championships that included the Aotearoa Uniform and Bronze Medal won by Adrian Tukaki in the Master Men V1 500 event, and the Club Uniform worn by the team along with their Gold and two Silver Medals won in the Master Men V12 500, and V6 500 and 1000 events.

The club was also blessed with an address from the current Waka Ama NZ CEO and International Va'a Federation Chair, Lara Collins who acknowledged the efforts and achievements of the club, particularly with the development of the sport in the Te Waka o Aoraki / South Island Region, as well as its success at National and World Championships.

The Presentation and Video shown at 20th Anniversary dinner is available to download below.

TWP 20th_Page_01.jpg
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