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Reflecting those who have come before

In February 2026 we will celebrate our 100th season. Many events are being planned for our centenary one of which is a project to reflect and tell the stories of those who have come before us in, on, and through our place.

We are guardians of this place for the generations that will come after us, and for us to perform this kaitiaki role we feel we need to make sure we reflect what has come before us in this place.

To do this we are proposing to establish a Māori name for the club and to install pou, pare and heke around, on and in the site and building to help tell the stories from the past.

Here is what we propose.


We propose that Worser Bay Boating Club also be know as Te Herenga Waka o Whetūkairangi or the mooring place of waka from the Whetūkairangi pa.


We intend to commission five Pou to stand at the entrance to the bridge into the club. We propose that the pou mark the significance of this place for Te Whanganui a Tara.

The pou will represent the family, friendly and welcoming values that underpin the reputation of the club and will be arranged in a way that means they are naturally interpreted as a family, welcoming visitors into the club.

Each pou will stand for one of the five principles that underpin the Boat & Beach Wise programmes and the stories embodied in their design will be used throughout the RŪNĀ curriculum that we work with local schools to deliver.

The following preliminary designs have been created for the pou.


We intend to give the three sheds significant names from our history and install pare in the lintels above each door to record this.

It is proposed that the three sheds be named Ngake (after the taniwha who broke through the heads to create the entrance to the harbour), Tara (after the chief who set up Whetūkairangi pa on the hills above us and gave his name to the harbour on which we sail) and Heberley (after the first pilot who helped settler ships through the heads and who gave the name Worser to the bay)


The pare for each shed will be the height and width of the lintel above each of the shed doors. The three elements of sea, stars and wind, the interplay of which is so important to understand when sailing, will be represented in the design of each pare.

It is proposed that the Ngake (north) shed have the pattern associated with the sea as Ngake is a sea creature. It is proposed that the Tara (middle) shed use the pattern associated with the stars as Tara’s people were known as the star gazers. The idea is that the Heberley (south) shed have the pattern associated with the wind as Heberley when asked ‘how is the wind?’ replied ‘it is getting worser and worser’, hence the name for Worser Bay.


We intend to install Heke to record the history of our place, including aspects of the first 100 years of our kaitiakitangaship, on the ceiling between the rafters in the classroom. The heke will be a subtle but ever-present reminder of the past for all those that use the classroom. They will include the patterning from the pou at the entranceway to the club and the pare above the shed doors to reinforce the interplay between the three elements of sea, stars and wind.

The six Heke will record:

  1. The significant Māori history associated with the local area (incorporated into the RŪNĀ schools’ programme)

  2. The names of the settlers' ships that arrived in Wellington around 1839-40 (incorporated into the RŪNĀ schools’ programme)

  3. The names of the original members who set up the club in 1926

  4. The names of women who have made a significant contribution to the club over the years as our honours’ boards and other sources of recorded history are silent in this regard

  5. The sailing boundary and the old fixed marks used in the early days of the club

  6. The classes that we have sailed between 1926 and 2026

Process and timing

We are sincere in our intent to include this history in the Ingoa, Pou, Pare, and Heke and want to avoid tokenism and appropriation at all cost. It will take as long as it takes to establish the Māori name for the club and to put in place the Pou, Pare, and Heke. As such we will take as long as is needed to build the relationships that will give mana whenua, tangata whenua and our landlord Wellington City Council faith in the steps we are taking. We would love to be in a position to uveil all the elements at our 100th celebrations in February 2026.

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