Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi Marae has received a $40,000 grant to go towards their waka ama team. 

The kura were successful finalists in the Million Dollar Mission (MDM) campaign whereby successful community groups are allocated a share of $1 million to go towards their community projects. 

The windfall means the school can now buy a new waka which can cost up to $14,000. 

"Me te mea he nui te utu mō ērā taputapu," hei tā Tahuri Tomoana, kaiwhakaako waka ama. 

"Āhua tekau mā whā mano mō ia waka, engari mēnā ka tae mai tērā waka kua noho ia hei tipuna, hei koroua, hei kuia mō tēnei kura." 

However, the good news doesn't come without its challenges. Questions have been asked over the school's involvement with the initiative, as the source of funding has been linked to the selling of alcohol. 

But Tomoana says the pros of accepting the grant far outweigh the cons. 

"Kāre he kaupapa i tua atu i te waka ama ki te whakarauora i te whānau, ki te whakapakari i te whānau, ki te whakakotahi i te whānau, pērā i tāku i mua, mai i te tau whitu ki te tau 70, e āhei ai te whānau ki te haere mai ki te whakakotahi mai i raro i te kaupapa o te waka ama." 

There is also an expectation that those involved with their crew will form healthy eating and healthy living habits. 

"Kāore e inu waipiro, kāore e momi paipa, me kai i ngā kai tika, me inu i te wai māori, e taea e koe te hiki i tēnei kaupapa." 

The team are currently in Tikitapu and their race is scheduled for 9:30 am this morning.

LIKE