Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to consider the (re-)emergence of the sport waka ama (outrigger canoe) in light of the broader historical, social, political…
Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to consider the (re-)emergence of the sport waka ama (outrigger canoe) in light of the broader historical, social, political, cultural and economic landscape of ‘post-colonial’ Aotearoa/New Zealand.
Design/methodology/approach – The chapter draws upon a micro-ethnography of the 2011 Waka ama national competition to elucidate the ways in which the sport serves as an important site for sharing Māori identities and culture. The empirical aspects of the chapter utilise observations and semi-structured interviews with key gatekeepers of waka ama in Aotearoa/New Zealand and participants in the sport.
Findings – The key findings of the study offer new insights into the relationship between the (re-)emergence of waka ama and the wider context of ‘post-colonial’ Aotearoa/New Zealand.
Research limitations/implications – The restricted timeframe that the research took place within could be viewed as a limitation to the research project.
Originality/value – The chapter provides an alternative reading of the sport waka ama within ‘post-colonial’ Aotearoa/New Zealand. To date there has been little research conducted on the role sport has played within the process of colonisation in Aotearoa/New Zealand. There has also been limited research that illustrates the role of waka ama, as a uniquely indigenous sport, as a vehicle of social change within indigenous communities. The authors highlight the unique nature of waka ama and provide an alternative commentary on the colonial/neocolonial forces that have impacted waka ama in its emergence.