About Waka Huia
E te Rangatira Ernie,
Kei te tangi tonu me te hoki mahara ki te taonga i moemoeahia e koe i nga tau e whakaatahia ana, a TE MAORI ki taawahi. Muri mai ka wanangahia ka titia e koe, e koutou te poutokomanawa o te taonga mai te whenua ki te rangi, ka whanau mai a Waka Huia.
No reira, he hokinga aroha me te harikoa i te mea, naahau teenei kaupapa i piihuka mai i te taumaha o tou aroha ki ngaa maatauranga e mau ana i ngaa kaumatua rongonui me nga korero o te ao kohatu.
I taua waa, ko te mataku, kei ngaro motuhake ngaa hitori, mehemea ka tupono ka aituahia raatou. Kua ngaro ngaa korero o nehe ra hei whaaki atu ki nga tipuranga mai tena muka, mai tena iwi, mai tena hapu mai tena marae.
I tenei tau, kua eke te huritau, rua tekau maa tahi tau e kaha tonu ana te haere a Waka Huia i raro i ngaa whakahaere a te iti, he pounamu ara i tenei uri mai i Ngati Porou i a Whai Ngata me Miki Apiti maa, ngaa kanohi hou kua tau.
No reira e te Rangatira Ernie, moe mai i raro i te mohio kei te kohikohi tonu ngaa take ngahau nei i wawata i riu i te kakano i te tau 1987.
He tika tonu kia whakamaumaharahia ake ratou nga Rangatira o te Taitokerau i timata nei ki te hoe i tenei kaupapa, araa, ki a Taa Hemi Henare, a Niki Conrad, a Epirahama maa, a Mira Szasy, a wai atu a wai atu. Ko koutou ra kua eke ki te pae o maumahara, no reira, moe mai ngaa kuru pounamu, okioki atu.
27 years ago in the Treaty Grounds of Waitangi, saw the birth of Waka Huia covering the very first programmes for Waka Huia under the leadership of Ernie Leonard and Whai Ngata.
Recognized leader of Ngapuhi, and an ex Colonel of the 28th Maori Battalion, Taa Hemi Henare and Mira Szászy, the first Mäori woman to graduate with a degree from The University of Auckland and former President of The Mäori Women's Welfare League were the first talent of Waka Huia.
Waka Huia began as a result of the impressive successes of the Te Maori exhibition. In the early 1980's, kuia and koroua from throughout the country travelled the world alongside the artistic masterpieces of our tüpuna. The international community were stunned by the power of Te Maori.
Whai Ngata and the late Ernie Leonard reflected on the disastrous consequences that would result if a plane load of kaumatua travelling back from exhibitions in the United States happened to 'drop out of the sky'.
They were mindful too that the tribal knowledge of our ancestors was a diminishing resource. Whai then devised Waka Huia as a television means to preserve the reo and matauranga Maaori of our kaumatua.
Since the first transmission in 1987, Waka Huia has just under 800 hour long episodes - captured for all time, the faces and voices of many kaum?tua who are no longer with us. In the process we have created a vital and important audio-visual archive of Iwi and Hapülife and history.
Waka Huia is an archival series. It records and preserves the language and concerns of fluent speakers of the Mäori language. This archival aspect is reflected in the particular history being spoken of, or, in the 'snapshot' that is taken of a certain moment in time of the Mäori world.
The kaupapa we have covered have ranged from traditional Iwi and Hapühistories, to the political, social and cultural concerns of the moment. The programme content is wide and varied. In the course of a single year's transmission many rohe will be visited.
Waka Huia attempts to preserve the Mäori language in its best form. It asserts a level of linguistic excellence that must be present in a society that is relearning its native tongue.
In the course of its long production history, Waka Huia has travelled many thousands of miles to hundreds of marae and special tribal areas. Waka Huia has recorded thousands of hours of körero with hundreds of our tüpuna.
We are proud of this kaupapa which forms a body of knowledge of inestimable value for Maori and New Zealand as a whole.