Manu Rere MoanaPacific Voyagers

The navigation of the Pacific by waka hourua | double-hulled sailing waka is one of the great achievements of human technology. This exhibition celebrates the mātauranga of celestial navigation that enabled these extraordinary voyages.

When | Āhea

Permanent exhibition

Where | Ki hea

Mana Whenua, Level 4

Cost | Te utu

Free entry

Accessibility | E wātea ana ki
  • wheelchair accessible

  • variable lighting

  • no photography

  • large projection has occasional lightning effects

Find out more about accessibility at Te Papa

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 and a prized tau ihu and tau rapa 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, who learned navigation from Hek Busby. Stan and Jack were original crew members of Te Aurere.

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