Waka Kapiti Eco Tours

Waka Kapiti eco-tours are a unique waka experience enhanced by tikanga Māori. We’re a whanau owned and operated Pakihi Maori, (Maori business) located on the Kapiti coast.

On our voyages we share cultural stories on Te Rauoterangi channel and take in the breath-taking views of Kapiti Island while sailing on a Holopuni Waka. Our goal is to revitalize nga taonga tiku iho (treasures passed on from our ancestors) through waka and freediving.

Waka Kapiti offers three unique cultural waka tours that turn clients into whanau, connecting with the local people, waka, and environment, and learning about the customs and rich history of the Kapiti coast.

We offer team building experiences tailored to suit small to medium-sized corporate groups. This is a great way to build relationships, and cultural knowledge within your workplace.

Join our whanau! Book with us today for an unforgettable waka cultural experience.

We also run three cultural programs based on Mahi a nga tupuna, a hands-on learning approach, and revitalizing enhancing matauranga Maori around Tangaroa.

Programs start from the start of April to the end of September

– Ruku Kapiti fundamental of freediving/customary diving

– Waka Kapiti fundamental of sailing waka Holopuni

– Waka Ruku Kapiti Marine identification

All programs can be tailored to suit. we

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About your Hosts

Tewera Henare 

Tewera Henare is certified with over 20 years of scuba and free diving experience, 9 years commercial fishing experience in Aotearoa, Australia and American waters.

  • Competed and coached Waka Ama on a national level,
  • Guided Waka Ama Tours for Waka Able Tasman,
  • 3 years combined sailing experience on a fire bug and Holopuni canoe.

Co-ordinated Marae base youth and S.T.E.M programs based on ngā mahi a ngā Tupuna.

Te Ao Māori, Tikanga Māori and Tikanga a ngā matua tupuna underpin Waka Kapiti core values.

Experienced 1st Aid Instructor.


The primary location for the Waka Kapiti is Gardens Road, Raumati South, Paraparaumu 


Numbers are limited to enhance the learning experience and for health and safety purposes. 

A maximum of 5 students

Your safety is our priority. All Waka Kapiti crew members follow rigorous risk management procedures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all participants.

This includes regular assessment of maritime conditions, strict equipment checks and safety briefs for all individuals and groups.

For over 2 years we have worked with school groups, meeting stringent health and safety standards. 


No, it is open to all ages and abilities; no previous experience required.

Bring with you:

  • Shorts 
  • Quick dry top and thermals 
  • Warm fleece 
  • Rain coat 
  • Water 

What is a Holopuni?

Holopuni – in Hawaii means “to sail everywhere” this is the original name Nick Beck gave to the 3 man outrigger canoe .

The Holopuni was designed using ancient Polynesian traditional waka building techniques, incorporating paddling and sailing together.

The Holopuni craft was design to sail in 25+ knots wind to sail all 5 channels in the Hawaii islands.

The Holopuni can be derigged as a sail canoe and rigged as a 3- person waka ama (outrigger canoe) and can be used for big wave surfing, and waka ama racing.

Nick Beck re-introduced Holopuni Canoes to Aotearoa, reviving the lost art of traditional lashing and sailing techniques. 

The Waka Kapiti Holopuni is one of only a few in Aotearoa, New Zealand.