Mangawhai Waka Ama Inc. (MWA)

Outrigger Canoe Club, Mangawhai, Tai Tokerau, Aotearoa


Welcome and Information Pack

(last updated June 2020)


Nau mai, haere mai, welcome to Mangawhai Waka Ama.

Kia hora te marino

Kia whakapapa pounamu te moana

Hei huarahi mā tatou i te rangi nei

Aroha atu, Aroha mai

Tātou i a tatou katoa

Haumi e, Hue e! Taiki e

May peace be widespread

May the sea be like greenstone

A pathway for us all this day

Let us show respect for each other

For one another

Bind us all together

  (Our club karakia)

Mangawhai Waka Ama caters for all ages and abilities – from those who wish to paddle competitively to social paddlers, from novices to the elite who train to compete at national and international levels.


The club is also open to facilitating paddling opportunities for a range of community, business and school groups.


The Waka Ama revival in NZ started in 1981:

In 1981 Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell observed Waka Ama racing in Tahiti, became inspired, and the seed was sown for a revival of Waka Ama in Aotearoa.


In 1985, Mareikura Canoe Club was founded and in 1986 Okahu Bay Canoe Club was formed in Auckland. From these humble beginnings the national body, Nga Kaihoe o Aotearoa, has grown into an organisation with six regions and over 80 clubs totalling 5, 178 members, spreading from Kaitaia to Riverton in the deep south. There are an estimated 10,000 additional paddlers who are not registered members.


The week-long National Championships now consistently attracts upwards of 2,000 competitors. In addition, Waka Ama is also the fastest growing team sport in secondary schools.


Paddlers range from 7 to over 70 and, although predominantly of Māori and Pacific Island ethnicity, Waka Ama includes paddlers from very diverse ethnic backgrounds. The sport offers a unique whānau atmosphere allowing parents, grandparents, children and mokopuna to all paddle at the same event.


Our Base:

Mangawhai Waka Ama is based on the Mangawhai estuary at the end of Mangawhai Heads Road (next to the camping ground / holiday park) Mangawhai Heads.




Mangawhai is supported by a number of local businesses and community grants. To date these include:

Mission and Values:

Mangawhai Waka Ama supports the Mission and Values of Ngā Kaihoe of Aotearoa (the governing body of Waka Ama).



To lead the development, practice and promotion of the sport and culture of Waka Ama and to provide the opportunity for residents to enjoy being on the sea.



·      Manaakitanga: We encourage the practice of reciprocity through sharing of ourselves and our resources, nurturing all people and accepting our differences;


·      Whanaungatanga: Is our sense of belonging, identification and collective strength, not only through kinship but being related to all within the Waka Ama community;


·      Hauora: We support and promote the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of all our participants; and


·      Tu Tangata: We are accountable for our actions. We have respect for each other, our waka and our environment. We stand proud in our integrity and passion.

Waka Ama Safety:

The Mangawhai Waka Ama Safety Plan provides details aimed to keep club members and visitors to our club safe - as well as protecting others using the Mangawhai estuary and coastline from our activities.


The Mangawhai Waka Ama Safety Plan MUST be read prior to members signing the online club ‘Membership Application/Risk Waiver Form’.

If a member is under the age of 18, the club ‘Membership Application/Risk Waiver Form’ must be signed by the legal guardian on behalf of the youth member.


As a general rule, novice and young paddlers (Midgets, Intermediates and J16) and novice steerers (of any age) are to stay in the area of the estuary up from our club base at Sellars Reserve. At the discretion of their coach, and if they are accompanied by their coach (and in accordance to our club Safety Plan), they may go out to sea in flat conditions.


If as a parent, you have an issue with your child going out to sea, please make this known to the club before joining.


Life jackets are supplied by the club and must be worn by all paddlers at all times on the water. No life jacket, no paddle.

All paddlers must follow the instructions of the steerer who is responsible for the waka and the safety of the crew.


Keeping the area where our container is clean and tidy:

It is everyone’s responsibility to keep our base and training area clean and tidy. Waka are kept together, extra tyres or other equipment stored tidily and the area is kept free of rubbish (including dog poo).


Waka Maintenance and upkeep:

It is everyone’s responsibility to care for our club equipment. In particular, special care needs to be taken in launching the waka and taking  them out of the water after use.  Trolleys are to be used for transporting the waka down/up the beach.  Ensure the crew is aware of lifting together to look after the waka and each other.


Parents and whānau of junior teams MUST help your tamariki to load and unload the waka onto the trolleys both before and after use and to help with the launching / bringing them out of the water.  This includes W2 and W1 waka – with particular care given to rudders.


For safety and ongoing club maintenance, please report any damage to waka, paddles, lifejackets, etc. to the Club Captain. 

All members are expected to help at working bees as required to do any waka maintenance or to our club base and surrounds.


Code of Conduct:

We agree to:

·    Show respect to all club members regardless of differences in knowledge and ability.


·    Show respect for coaches, managers, whānau members, supporters, the wider waka ama fraternity, all other water users, and the general public.


·    Respect the opposition and their supporters.


·    Be humble winners and gracious losers.


·    Refrain from verbal or physical abuse of any person, club member or otherwise, including through social media.

·    Resolve conflicts in a timely and responsible manner, dealing with the issue not personalities.


·    Respect and care for facilities and equipment.


·    Participate within the club’s safety rules (insert link) and the code of conduct at all times.


The MWA committee has the right to censure any member who blatantly breaches this code of conduct.


Club Contacts:

Mangawhai Waka Ama Inc

PO Box 286

Mangawhai Village 0540


Key members’ contacts:

·     President

Quentin Clough

Mobile: 0272 689432


·     Secretary and Vice President

Jackie Fanning

Mobile: 027-555-3740


·     Safety

Step Railey



·    Treasurer/Membership

Ingrid Kaptein

Mobile: 021 628 900


·     Club Captain

Brandon Barclay

Mobile: 022-066-7130


2020/2021 Club Paddling Sessions:


Paddling times on the weekend:

Kids paddle: Saturday 8.00am (fully subscribed at the moment)

Club Social Paddle: Saturday 9am on the water - turn up at 8.45am to help rig and sort teams. New paddlers welcome, but priority given to members. (Generally 60-90 minutes, mixed crews of ability, focus on enjoyment and coffee after .

Sunday Single and Doubles Session:

7-9am generally unless stated. Club has 2 club doubles and 2 single canoes that can be booked on booking page , own boats welcome.

Ask Bush, Brandon for more details.

Steve's Sunday Paddles: As per Steve's availability

Member Paddling Week Nights:

Tues/Thurs Squad nights:

On the water at 6pm - be there at 5.45pm

Run by Bush and Steve - focus on further development and fitness - approx 60-90 min.  Sign in on What's Ap to book a seat for these nights - (Team SNAP app will be available soon to arrange training times and sign up).

Social Paddling Wednesday night:

On the water at 6pm - be there at 5.45pm

Turn up to help rig and get ready prior to this - - focus on paddle basics, learning strokes/steerer development -suitable for all members, particularly newer.   approx an 60-80min

Run by Jackie, Ing, Q, Birgit and Nigel.

Winter:  May - August

Wednesday – by arrangement

Saturday – 9am to 10:30am

Many members will also train outside of these days and times for individual needs and training for specific crews for specific events. We ask that if this is you, please make an effort to also paddle during our club sessions to provide important tuākana/tēina for our new and developing paddlers.

We Provide Equipment / Gear:

Life Jackets (PFDs): Your safety is our priority; with MWA it is mandatory to wear PFDs while on the water. Whilst you are welcome to use the club’s PFDs, down the track it is recommended that you purchase your own. Purchasing your own supports the club in having PFDs available to all paddlers. We recommend that before you purchase a PFD, you talk to a senior club member for advice (possible club bulk purchase agreements available).


Paddles (Hoe): Ditto as per PFDs – Whilst you are welcome to use the club’s hoe, once you become reasonably proficient it is recommended that you contemplate purchasing your own. Paddles can be custom made to be the correct length and balance for you and suit your needs - much better than club hoes. We recommend that before you purchase a paddle, you talk to a senior club member for advice.


Use of MWA Club Waka:

All MWA waka are available for use by club members. As a new member, you can come to the club paddling sessions at the times stated above.

All use of waka outside of club paddle sessions must be booked on our Mangawhai Facebook page and outside of club paddling sessions. You must know your responsibilities as outlined in our MWA Safety Plan, which means all safety gear carried and MWA safety procedures followed.

When a non-member person or group is taken out in a waka, a member must be present who takes full responsibility for the person/s -  there must be at least 2 (paid-up) members paddling in each W6, one of these being a competent steerer (please refer to ‘table’ below for details of Associate Membership group fee). MWA promotes new paddlers to our club and we encourage people to come and give it a go.


At some stage, you will be involved in practice tip-out and re-entry exercises and invited to attend safety forums and organised paddling and steering technique programmes that the club runs.


The club’s ‘small waka’ (W1/W2)

MWA have W1 and W2 waka available for club use. These waka need to be booked through our Mangawhai Facebook page. These small waka are only to be used by experienced paddlers or under the direct supervision of a paddler deemed suitably competent by the Club Captain. Please check with the Club Captain, who will decide if you have the experience needed to use these craft (they are easy to tip).


Experienced paddlers - remember that if you are using Mangawhai Waka Ama equipment you cannot ‘play’ on the surf at the bar as this puts undue pressure on club equipment.


Annual Membership Subscription / Fees:

The annual subscription with MWA is renewed on the 30 September every year.  After you have paddled with us approximately three times, and have not paid your membership, you will be asked by a committee member to become a paying member.

Your MWA fees contribute to maintenance of waka and equipment, accounting, post office box, bank account fees, website fees, purchase of non-funded equipment, etc.


An annual Waka Ama NZ national paddler affiliation fee is also charged on top of your MWA subscription. This is a registration fee to the national waka ama (Waka Ama NZ) and not only provides you permission to race in events, but also provides important statistics that support the development of Waka Ama in NZ (through Sport NZ).



Annual membership is for the period 30 September to 29 September

To check the age group for paddling in the year please click here

Membership Type


MWA Inc. Fee

Waka NZ (NKOA) fee

Midget Paddler

6 to 10 years of age (inclusive)

$25 (for 1st two, then $5 each)

$5 each

Intermediate Paddler

11 to 13 years of age (inclusive)

$25 (for 1st two, then $5 each)

$5 each

Junior Paddler

14 to 19 years of age (inclusive)

$50 (for 1st two, then $5 each)

$12 each

Adult Paddler

Over 20 years of age


$15 each



Two parents or caregivers and up

to four children from the same



Fee for each

paddler will be

at the above

rate dependent

on membership




May be available to persons or

groups whom the club committee

deems unlikely to enjoy the full

benefits of club membership.

Associate membership does not

afford voting rights at meetings

$15 (person)

Maybe required

if we are

invoiced by


If members consider the full amount places any financial strain on household expenses, please feel free to speak with our Treasurer (in strict confidence) about a payment plan.


If you become a member in the second part of the paddling ie 1st April onwards a half year fee will apply, plus the $15 NKOA fee.  (Ie $42 plus $15 is $67)


New paddlers to MWA, please follow instructions that you receive after you complete the online registration and membership will be confirmed by the respective management team.

Paddlers renewing their membership, please pay directly into the MWA bank account.

When making electronic payments:

Please give clear references, i.e., your name or child’s name, and what the payment is for either MWA membership fee, NKOA fee or uniform, race fee etc..


Bank Account details of Mangawhai Waka Ama Inc, ASB Wellsford Branch

Mangawhai Waka Ama Inc


If you want an invoice, please email the club Treasurer requesting this - (please put Treasurer in email Subject line)


NKOA (Waka NZ) ID Cards

In addition, all paddlers are required to have an NKOA (Waka NZ) ID Card to race at the National Sprints event. ID Cards cost $5 each (a one-off fee) except during the peak National Sprint Championship period where the cost is $15 per card. If a member loses their membership card, they need to fund a replacement. To apply for an ID Card, you need to see your club Membership representative who has login details and they will register for one online.


Regattas / Competition:

There are two types of regattas; Sprints and Long Distance. Both of these have NZ national events and the sprints have a world event.


The competitive regatta season is from mid November to mid June.  It is the intention of Mangawhai Waka Ama to compete in regional regattas supporting our regional clubs. If there is interest, we will likely compete in other competitions in the North Island and possibly in the South Island.


Club members are also likely to compete internationally. There are some great regattas such as Vaka Eiva in Rarotonga that we may wish to send a crew to.


There is a range of race types. Crews compete as Women, Men, or Mixed (3 of each in a W6) and with various age categories.


Minimum age

Age paddler can turn in the year of competition

Maximum age

Age paddler can turn in the year of competition







Junior 16



Junior 19



Under 23



Premier (Open)






Senior Master



Golden Master



Master 70




Most regattas have a Novice section (with the exception of Nationals), which is a reduced length. Paddlers in their first year of paddling are deemed to be Novice. This category allows for 1 experienced steerer and 1 experienced paddler to be in a team.


There are costs involved in competing: the race entry fee (which usually includes a meal), travel costs, accommodation, and sharing in transport costs to get our waka to the regatta. For lower North Island competitions, South Island competitions and international regattas, we will hire waka at the regatta and this cost is split among crew members.

Kids Paddling:

We are currently starting small, ensuring we have another experienced adult supervision and equipment to ensure our tamariki are safe.