The Tōtara Waka

From Ōpepe to Taupō

The Discovery of the Waka

The discovery of the large Ōpepe waka concerned Trevor Hoskings (QSM) because the area around Ōpepe was about to be broken in for farmland, and the large waka was in danger of being crushed by heavy machinery.

It was located near Ranginui, an old occupation site, and was reported to the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT) and the relevant land owners. All parties agreed to have the waka relocated to the AC Reserve in Taupō and the costs were covered by the NZHPT and the wider community.

In October 1967 the waka was transported safely by Don McLeod to Taupō and it was cradled on the AC Reserve near the Tapuaeharuru Redoubt.

In December 2005, over 40 years later, Trevor watched as the waka was moved a short distance using a crane and truck to carry it to its new home at the Taupō Museum.

A Selection of Photos - Taupō Museum Collection

  • <p>Left to Right: Trevor Hoskings, Harold Wood and Johny Pepee</p>

A Collection of Photos of Waka on A.C. Reserve

  • <p>After Ōpepe, the waka was relocated here to the A.C. Reserve (Behind the current Taupō Police Station).</p>
  • <p>Nā te tonga, nā te tio i wawe ai te pirautanga o te waka</p>
  • <p>2004 i hangā e te Pouhere Taonga he whare waka hei tiaki i a ia</p>

A.C. Reserve to Taupō Museum.

For nearly 40 years the waka rested on the A.C Reserve and in 2004, the New Zealand Historic Places Trust built a cover over the vessel to provide some protection from the elements.

A year later it was decided to bring the waka into the museum and the move took place on 3 December 2005. This time, a crane and a truck were involved along with dozens of helpers and electronic jacks.

The move was endorsed by the Ariki (Supreme Chief) of Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Tumu Te Heuheu and the waka was blessed by Mataara Wall, Āpotoro Takiwa of the Rātana Faith,

From A.C. Reserve to Taupō Museum

  • <p>Workers inspect the waka before it is lifted off the cradles</p>
  • <p>Crane uplifts the waka from its resting place of nearly 40 years.</p>
  • <p>The waka is carefully loaded onto the back of the truck</p>
  • <p>The waka is transported 500m to the Taupō Museum</p>
  • <p>The window is carefully removed before the waka is relocated inside </p>
  • <p>Workers successfully relocate the waka to the museum</p>