HONOLULU – On October 16, 2014, Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia departed Pago Pago, American Sāmoa for the next leg of the Worldwide Voyage to Aotearoa (New Zealand). Crewmembers aboard the two voyaging canoes will be sailing through Vavaʻu Island group in the Kingdom of Tonga, then past the Kermadec Islands before reaching Aotearoa.
The crew of Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia, which includes two Maori voyagers from Aotearoa, will sail approximately 1,500 nautical miles through the Pacific Ocean before reaching their destination. These crewmembers will be part of a journey that returns Hōkūleʻa to Aotearoa for the first time since 1985. Hikianalia, which was built in Aotearoa in 2012, will be returning to her “birthplace.”
Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia are slated to arrive in Aotearoa in November, with a celebration for the arrival slated for Nov. 15 in Waitangi. The arrival of the canoes to the region will commemorate nearly thirty years since Hōkūleʻa first voyaged to Waitangi in 1985. In Waitangi, Māori elders are known to trace back the genealogy of all Māori people in Aotearoa to five voyaging canoes. Upon Hōkūleʻa’s arrival in 1985, Māori leaders recognized Hōkūle‘a as the sixth canoe carrying the sixth tribe, connecting the crew to the Māori people. As a celebration of the last voyage to Aotearoa and the current voyage, this leg of the Mālama Honua voyage will celebrate the theme, “Nā Waka: A Tribe Returning Home.”