Hector Busby

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Hector Busby, ONZM MBE (born 1 August 1932) (also known as Heke-nuku-mai-nga-iwi Puhipi), is a Māori navigator and traditional ship (waka) builder in New Zealand. He is recognised as a leading figure in the revival of traditional Polynesian navigation and ocean voyaging using wayfinding techniques.[1][2]

He has built 26 traditional waka,[3] including the double-hulled Te Aurere which has sailed over 30,000 nautical miles in the Pacific including Hawaii, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Norfolk Island.[4] In December 2012, Te Aurere and Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti (another waka built by Busby) reached Rapa Nui after a 5000-nautical-mile, four-month voyage from New Zealand.[5] The two waka then made the return journey to New Zealand, landing at Aurere Beach in Doubtless Bay in May 2013.[6]

Busby is of mixed Pākehā and Māori heritage. He is from the Māori tribes of Te Rarawa and Ngāti Kahu.


Busby received the New Zealand Commemoration Medal in 1990. In the 1994 Queen's Birthday Honours, he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire, for services to the Māori people.[7] In the 2014 New Year Honours, Busby was named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM).[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Profile: Hekenukumai (Hector) Busby". Toi Māori Aotearoa. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "Waka Tapu Canoes". NZMACI & Taitokerau Tarai Waka. Retrieved October 12, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Hector Busby:waka builder". Radio New Zealand interview. 6 February 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  4. ^ "Hekenukumai Busby". Te Ara, The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. National Library of New Zealand. Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  5. ^ "Waka end four-month voyage on Easter Island coast". The New Zealand Herald. APN News & Media. 5 December 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  6. ^ "Waka welcomed home from epic journey". www.stuff.co.nz. 18 May 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  7. ^ London Gazette (supplement), No. 53697, 10 June 1994. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  8. ^ Cabinet Office, Honours Unit. "New Year Honours List 2014". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 30 December 2013.