top of page

Hoturoa Barclay-kerr

Tainui Waka - Waikato

Tohunga Waka

Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr is the captain of the oceangoing waka Haunui, Hinemoana and Aotearoa One. Hoturoa has been sailing around the Pacific for more than thirty-five years. He paddles waka, sails waka, and teaches waka -Hoturoa lives waka. Diving deep into the artform of waka, he is one of the few holders of mātauranga whakatere waka here in Aotearoa.

Hoturoa grew up with numerous elders who nurtured and cared for him on the many marae of Waikato. He is a native Māori speaker and spent the first six years of his life with the Tūhoe people in Rūātoki, where his parents taught at the Rūātoki District High School.

He and his mother moved to Auckland when he was six years old, by this age Hotorua had learned only the Māori language. Educated at Onehunga High School, he continued on to study for a BA at the University of Auckland, and a Masters at Waikato University. His Master’s thesis investigated how the waka is a symbol of mana in the twenty-first century.

Hotorua was a lecturer at Waikato University for over nineteen years. More recently he has specialised in education and leadership programmes that use the waka as a platform for learning and development.

Throughout the years Hoturoa has used his specialised knowledge to encourage tauira to look at mātauranga waka from all aspects, which include science, technology, astronomy, arts and more. These teachings have taken him to many different indigenous spaces, working with many different rōpū.

Hoturoa is an orator on his marae at Kāwhia, the home of his waka, and the ancient landing and settlement place of his ancestral waka, Tainui, who was captained by his tupuna, Hoturoa.

bottom of page