Skip to page content
Home / Exhibitions + Events

Te Whakataa a Te Winika

20 July 2024

11am to 12pm


Join us to acknowledge Te Winika with song and karakia before Waikato Museum's temporary closure. Due to much-needed renovation work on our building, the majestic waka taua Te Winika will be at rest (whakataa) from public view. This event will include singing the traditional waiata, Te Winika.

We will celebrate again in December when she will be reawoken (whakaohooho) for the public once again.


More about the upcoming closure

Waikato Museum will be closed from 22 July to early December 2024 for significant work to fix existing issues and prevent future problems. Read more here.


The history of Te Winika

The majestic Te Winika is a carved waka taua (Maaori war canoe) was collectively built by Ngaati Tipa of Tuakau, Ngaati Maru of Hauraki and Ngaati Mahanga of the western coastline of the Waikato.

Te Winika's history is a story of Tainui and the King movement. During the tumultuous era of the New Zealand Land Wars, Te Winika experienced the subjugation of the Waikato tribes, and this once proud flagship of royalty was dismantled, partially concealed and left to deteriorate in the mud at Port Waikato.

In the 1930s, Te Winika became a symbol of the Kiingitanga and the waka renaissance led by the Kaahui Ariki (Royal Sovereign) and, in particular Te Puea Herangi who steered the restoration of Te Winika. Te Winika again faithfully served Maaori royalty until she was gifted to Hamilton city in 1973 by the Maaori Queen, Dame Te Atairangikaahu, as a gesture of harmony and goodwill. On 8 July 1973 Te Winika embarked on her final voyage on Waikato River, journeying to Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato and in 1987 Te Winika moved from the former museum site on London Street to the current Waikato Museum on Grantham Street.

Discover the story of Te Winika and view the many beautiful traditional carvings in Te Whare Waka o Te Winika - Te Winika Gallery which overlooks the mighty Waikato River. 


Te Winika Memories video


Please note 

For te reo Maaori, Waikato Museum uses double vowels (uu) in place of vowels with a macron (ū) to represent a long vowel sound. This spelling approach is the preference of tangata whenua in Hamilton Kirikiriroa and Waikato iwi for te reo Maaori words.