At the heart of Manu Rere Moana is the legacy of Tā Hekenukumai Ngāiwi Busby (Hek Busby) and Mau Piailug of Satawal, Micronesia. In the 1980s and 90s they rekindled the knowledge of Pacific navigation, culminating in the voyage of Te Aurere, captained by Hek Busby, from Aotearoa to Rarotonga in 1992.
This exhibition includes a one-third-size replica of Te Aurere, built by Hek Busby, along with historic waka hoe waka hoepaddlesMāori and a prized tau ihu tau ihuprowMāori and tau rapa tau rapasternMāori loaned by Auckland Museum. Sound and video installations evoke the experience of life on the high seas.
This is a renewal of one of Te Papa’s long-standing exhibitions. Led by the waka community, the renewal of the gallery marks the legacy of Hek Busby who passed away in 2019, and celebrates the intergenerational mātauranga shared across Te Moananui-a-Kiwa | the Pacific Ocean.
Master navigators Hotu Barclay-Kerr, Stan Conrad, and Jack Thatcher are the exhibition’s three tohunga
tohungaexpertsMāori, who learned navigation from Hek Busby. Stan and Jack were original crew members of Te Aurere.