Waka Advisor, Tohunga (spiritual expert) | Ngāti Kahu, Te Rārawa
Hekenukumai Ngaiwi Busby is a master waka builder and navigator. His first major involvement with waka was in 1973 when he started the restoration work on the waka taua (war canoe) Ngatokimatawhaorua in preparation for the 1974 Waitangi celebrations. In 1991 he built his first waka hourua (double-hulled voyaging canoe) Te Aurere. Since that time Te Aurere has voyaged to a number of destinations throughout the Pacific including its maiden voyage to Rarotonga in 1992 with subsequent voyages to Nukuhiva, Marquesas Islands and Hawai'i.
Hekenukumai Busby and Mauriora Kingi will provide the spiritual and protocol expertise for this project. Hekenukumai conducted the protocols around the retrieval of the log in Northland and was the architect for the canoe form. He has fifty years experience in bridge building and has built over twenty waka in his lifetime, the latest of which is another waka hourua named Ngahiraka after his late wife. Hekenukumai will continue to be involved throughout this project and will travel with Te Puia to Shanghai when the canoe is ready to be lashed.