Turanga Barclay-Kerr describes the importance of the river as a life source and encourages people to partake in the many activities that exist on the river. Turanga is the second eldest son of Hoturoa Kerr and has a wealth of knowledge in the practice of waka. Turanga is currently the kaihautū of Taheretikitiki – a position previously held by his father.
For myself and my family, we’ve sort of grown up on the river, you know, right from a real young age. We’ve been doing everything like waka ama, waka taua, kōpapa, everything, so the river is the lifeline, the life source for us. Not only us but even for all our friends and stuff from kura who have become affiliated with us, the same thing. Right from when we were little, right on the river, day in day out, making use of our awa
The river’s been around for a while, for a long time, and it’s something that our tūpuna used in their daily lives. Coming up and down the awa doing all their things, and I guess that’s something that has transferred in today. Same river, different time, but you know, some of the things we have seen on the river, it’s stuff that our tūpuna could have seen or have seen.
It’s a good source of life, like I was saying, not only for sports and stuff, it’s also something good for like relaxation. You know, if you’re having a hard time, just go down to the awa with your whānau and that – just walk along the banks or trot along the rocks and stuff, and the river, you know it’s quite soothing.
The Waikato Tainui College for Research and Development acknowledges the financial support given by the Waikato River Cleanup Trust Fund which is administered by the Waikato River Authority.
The Waikato River Cleanup Trust does not necessarily endorse or support the content of the publication in any way.