Waka Shelter, Wi Neera Drive


Paddling has undergone a revival in the past decade in Porirua with a large plethora of waka being launched from the boat ramp in Wi Neera Drive. Currently, 6 waka ama (outrigger canoes) are located at the site and are used throughout the year. A larger one is kept at the Takapuwahia Marae and it is used very infrequently due to the difficulty in getting it to the ramp and then launching it.

The Porirua City Council came to an agreement with Ngati Toa to lease a parcel of land on the reserve in Wi Neera Drive to enable Ngati Toa to build a permanent shelter and launching ramp for the waka nui for its use on ceremonial and other occasions.

The shelter provides an excellent place to showcase the waka at the same time providing a better launching facility in close proximity to the harbour.

Artist's impression of Waka Shelter.
Artist's impression of Waka Shelter.

The completed waka shelter.

Completed Waka Shelter.

Description of Project

Construction took approximately 3 to 4 months to complete and was carried out in stages as follows:

1. Minor earthworks to provide a level platform and a graded ramp down to the waters edge
2. Foundations and drainage features constructed
3. A concrete floor slab poured
4. Framing for the main structure installed
5. Aluminium roofing, transparent side panels and cedar slats applied
6. Fit out of lighting, taps and other fixtures carried out
7. Launching ramp constructed and landscaping carried out to complete the project.

Who’s involved?

Te Runanga O Toa Rangitira Inc. (Ngati Toa) – Owner of the waka and the waka shelter.

Porirua City Council - Owner of the land and project manager facilitating the planning and construction of the waka shelter.

Stephenson &Turner NZ Ltd, Architects and Engineers – Designer and manager of the contract to build of the shelter

Contractor – Maycroft Construction Limited

Public Access and Recreation

Although the shelter has been built on public land a lease is to be issued only for the footprint of the building. Access around the building and use of the boat ramp will be unimpeded for the public and users of the park. Recreation of the reserve will be enhanced and a wonderful facility focusing on an aspect of Maori culture will be provided.