A newly restored traditional vaka set sail this morning from Auckland, destined for the Cook Islands.
Families of the 14 crewmen on board the Marumaru Atua sang, laughed and shed a few tears ahead of their departure from Auckland's Westhaven Marina.
It's taken five months to rebuild the vessel after a devastating fire in 2017.
“The canoe means a lot to us in the Cook Islands. It’s about our past, our traditional ways. But also we use this canoe for morning as a floating classroom for young kids,” said captain Sam Timoko.
Marumaru Atua has sailed more than 20,000 nautical miles through the Pacific to highlight the health of the Pacific Ocean.