Beginners Start Here


'He Waka Hono Tangata - A Canoe that Unites the People'

$10 NZD

Not available elsewhere to view online. 7 day online access from date of purchase.

Online view of the Festival Documentary Film about the making of three waka taua - traditional canoe - for a community.

The creation of the 60-foot traditional waka taua Te Aniwaniwa was envisioned by Maori elder Te Rira Puketapu. This film was inspired by Master Carver Rangi Hetet's own archival footage of the process. Hetet and his young carvers also created Te Raukura, a waka for the people of Wellington, as well as a children's waka, Te Rerenga, from the same massive totara tree.

The journey reflects the bringing together of a tribal community - and offers a promising message of the expression of traditional culture and universal values amidst the modern world.

"Not for the waka itself, not for myself, but to see the people involved, the local people, that was the greatest sight of all. To feel their excitement. I was just part of building that excitement. The waka was nothing, it's the people"
- Rangi Hetet

Running Time 42 minutes | Featuring Rangi Hetet, Te Rira Puketapu, Sam Hauwaho, Erenora Puketapu-Hetet and the people of Waiwhetu Marae | Director Robin Greenburg | With acknowledgement to the many individuals and groups who made this film possible | With funding assistance from: Te Waka Toi, Te Whanau Paneke Inc, and Carvers Roopu. | Copyright Waiwhetu Marae / Rangi Hetet 2005

Buy Now


"Master carver Rangi Hetet and his son-in-law Sam Hauwaho describe the process of creating the waka, commissioned for the 150th commemoration of the Treaty in 1990. Fifteen years later, Hetet recalls that he arrived at the waka project without practical experience, equipped only with notes provided by a far-sighted senior carver decades earlier.

He Waka Hono Tangata was created by the same collaborative team that produced TU TANGATA: Weaving for the People (2000) and makes a perfect companion piece."

- Bill Gosden, New Zealand International Film Festival

Rangi Hetet

(Born 1937)

A grandson of Rangimarie Hetet, Rangi is the co-founder of the Hetet School of Māori Art.

At the age of 17, Rangi was taken out of school by elders of his mother's people, Ngāti Tuwharetoa, to become a carver to help carve the meeting house Tapeka for Chief Te HeuHeu in Waihi at Lake Taupo.

Rangi learned carving at the old carving school Te Ao Marama in Ohinemutu, Rotorua under the mentorship of Hone Taiapa. He was a member of the Konae Aronui group of carvers who carved many Wharenui around New Zealand.  

Rangi has taught carving for many years in various settings including the Institute of Māori Arts and Crafts at Whakarewarewa, Wānanga, Marae and the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand.

With his wife Erenora, he developed the first Marae based training programmes in traditional Maori Art, the first Maori Museum Intern programme as well as diploma and degree programmes for Wānanga and Polytechnics.

As Master Carver, Rangi has overseen the creation of wharenui and several waka taua. His work can be found in public and private around the world.