Notice regarding incident at Regionals 2021

Following the conclusion of the Hoe Tonga Regional Sprint Champ Championship 2021, the Hoe Tonga Board was made aware of a claim that a paddler that was not fully vaccinated competed in one of the events.

In response, Hoe Tonga undertook an investigation into this matter, and it can be confirmed that such incident took place.

The Hoe Tonga Board deliberated on this matter, and notes the following: 

  • Hoe Tonga, as a condition of entry to our Regional Sprint Championship 2021, required  paddlers to be double vaccinated (and such requirement is enabled under Hoe Tonga’s  constitution, refer rule 6.1). Clubs, coaches and paddlers were made aware of this  requirement through various race notices (eg website, social media posts) and also through an explicit statement in the event waiver form. This is in addition to nation-wide media coverage on the new traffic light system, and publicised mandatory vaccination requirements for events with more than 100 participants. 
  • As the mandatory vaccination requirement was very new, and had not yet been  implemented at any other waka ama event, Hoe Tonga undertook its best efforts to give  effect to the new requirement by requiring paddlers to show their vaccine passes when  signing in, and receiving a wrist band that would be required to enter a designed event  area. It is now clear that there were some shortcomings in Hoe Tonga’s processes and  systems. Hoe Tonga is compiling lessons learnt from that experience, in order to improve on our future events. 
  • Hoe Tonga’s events are run largely on a trust-based approach, ie we do not have the  resources to implement various checks that are in place at the National Waka Ama Sprint  Championships to ensure compliance (eg ID checks via scanners at loading bay, etc). As  a result, Hoe Tonga is able to run its events with significantly lower costs, albeit this does  imply that we rely on clubs and paddlers to do the right thing, and to be aware of all relevant event requirements. 

Under rule 6.1 of Hoe Tonga’s Constitution, the Board can impose sanctions and penalties in relation to someone acting contrary to Hoe Tonga’s rules and requirements, and Waka Ama New Zealand (WANZ) rules, requirements, and expectations (including the WANZ Code of Conduct).

The Hoe Tonga Board considers that the lack of full vaccination is a serious matter, and it has made the decision to suspend the affiliation, for one full year, of two people in relation to this incident. This means that they are unable to compete at waka ama events during that time, as participation requires paddlers to be affiliated. The affected club and paddlers have been notified of Hoe Tonga’s decision. 

Te Wananga o Aotearoa Hoe Tonga Teams Sprint Results 2021

What an incredible weekend it was over at Henley Lake in Masterton for our region. To see close to 400 paddlers, their whanau and club supporters make the journey over and take part was amazing. It was awesome to be able to put on a sprints event under the current Covid-19 restrictions and we appreciate everyone playing their part in following the guidelines put in place.

A massive shout out to all the volunteers and the Wairarapa Maori Wardens for their Mahi in helping us with the running of the event. We could not have done it without you all. Without the volunteers from our clubs this event is just not possible.

Some photos will be put up this week and a more detailed report of the weekend, but please see the results here:

Lastly, we would like to thank Te Wananga o Aotearoa for their on going support and partnership for our Sprint Regional Event 2021.

W6/W12 Teams Sprint Specific Details Update

To help ensure participant safety, we have changed the event format to manage overall attendance numbers. The W1 event on Sat 27 November was a great experience at how we can continue paddling while providing a safe COVID-19 free environment. We are keen to reproduce this for the W6 event.

Hoe Tonga thanks paddlers and clubs for their patience and supporting Hoe Tonga to provide a safe and COVID-19 free event. In order for the event to proceed at the Orange alert level:

Please have a read of the document attached that has more information around the paddler area, whanau supporters expectations and how this event will be run. An updated team waiver form is also now available here

W6/W12 Specific Details

Regionals is supported by TWOA. More information on TWOA and their waka ama courses can be found at

Te Wananga o Aotearoa Hoe Tonga Teams Sprint Regionals 2021

We are excited to announce that the Te Wananga o Aotearoa Hoe Tonga Teams Sprint Event will be going ahead over the weekend of the 11-12 December.

All 500m and 250m straight races (including W12-if we can source enough waka) will happen on the Saturday and all the turn races on the Sunday. We will aim to get a race schedule up this week, with a lane draw being available next week.

The W1 event on Saturday 27th November was a great experience at how we can continue paddling while providing a safe COVID-19 free environment. We are looking at following a similar system for the team events…more details to come.

We would like to thank Te Wananga o Aotearoa for their support of the 2021 Regionals. More information on TWOA can be found here:

W1 Race Results

Massive congratulations to all the paddlers that made the trip to Henley Lake yesterday. It was awesome to see around 80 paddlers from around our region turn up to race. We appreciate all the efforts made by clubs to keep support numbers down due to the Covid-19 Level 2 restrictions.

A shout out to all our volunteers and officials for a well run event, from set up to pack down, start line to finish line, safety boats, admin and loading bay. You all were amazing and contributed to the day running to schedule.

Please see all race results here

We will have an announcement on the team events scheduled for 11-12 December as soon as possible, we appreciate your patience.

W1 Schedule and Lane Draw Out Now

Only a few sleeps to go and we will have around 80 W1 Paddlers taking part in our first Sprint Regional Event at Henley Lake. Split between two sessions and under L2 Covid-19 guidelines it will be run slightly different to past events but we are stoked to be able to offer it. We have also made a slight change and included the J19 Division in the morning session.

This is also a timely reminder to get your vaccination against Covid-19 done! With the traffic light system just around the corner we are very hopeful that the team events will be able to go ahead on the 11-12 December. This will be required for everyone 12 years and over that attends the event. Check out the Panui attached around some pop up clinics happening in Masterton.

We look forward to hosting you all this Saturday, please remember to social distance, sanitize frequently and enjoy the day.

Click on the following link for the Race Schedule and Lane Draw:

W1 Regional Event Specific Details

Entries are now closed for our upcoming W1 event in Masterton on Saturday 27th November at Henley Lake. As we continue to follow the guidelines set out by Waka Ama NZ, Sport NZ and the current Level 2 Restrictions we have had to put in some paddler boundaries so that we can keep our event bubble safe and the wider community.

Due to Henley Lake being a public area we ask that all paddlers, club representatives and supporters coming along read the W1 Specific Information Sheet. This includes an area map of where parking is available, rigging of waka take place, sign in/admin area, paddler area and finish line. There is also a marked area where we ask paddlers to stay clear of.

Don’t forget that all paddlers, club representatives, supporters and volunteers also have to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and that we will require proof. Please make sure that you provide this either prior to the event or bring it on the day. We will accept a letter from your GP/Healthcare provider, screenshot of the passport certificate or proof on the day. You can check ways of accessing your Covid-19 passport on this link:

We have also restricted the number of club reps that can assist the paddlers during each session, so please make sure that you contact your club rep for these details or read the race information here

W1 Specific Information Sheet

If you have any questions or queries please get in touch with us through email or contact Megan Qaranivalu on 0221657649.

Te Wananga o Aotearoa Hoe Tonga Sprint Regionals 2021


  • Host: Hoe Tonga Pacifica Waka Ama Association
  • Venue: Henley Lake, Masterton
  • When: W1 Saturday 27th November, W6/W12 on 11th and 12th December
  • Distance: W1 250/500m; W6 500m/1000m/1500m
  • Divisions: Midget to Master 70
  • The event is open for paddlers/teams from outside the Hoe Tonga region. Some restrictions apply to W1.
  • W1 Entries Closed: 17th November
  • W6/W12 Entries Closed: 1st December
  • W6/W12 Team Rosters Closed: 5th December
  • Cost: $5 Midgets, $20 Int-J19, $30 for Senior



  • Entries are to be done via your club and WANZ’s online system
  • Entries for W1 and W6/W12 have to be done separately due to the different entry close dates
  • There will be a late fee if an entry is not completed by the deadline, or if the roster has not been completed on time ($15 per entry).
  • There are no refunds or fee reductions for entries that withdraw after the entry deadline.


As the Covid levels and restrictions are an ever-changing landscape we will be keeping in close contact with any changes that might need to be made and compliances that will be required.  We also require that all paddlers, club representatives, volunteers and supporters 12 years and over to be fully vaccinated to attend our regional events for 2021.

Questions? Email or call 0221657649.

New dates for Hoe Tonga Regionals 2021 and new COVID requirements

Kia hiwa ra, kia hiwa ra!

Ko te aronga matua o Hoe Tonga, ko te oranga tangata. Haere, e whai i te waewae ā o tātou tīpuna, kia ora ai te tangata. Ko ngā kupu tohutohu i a mātou: mahia te mahi, hei painga mo te iwi.

Ko tā mātou, me pēhea te ngā whakamua i enei wā poraruraru, tutuki ai o rātou wawata. Ko te whakataunga e whai ake nei, he mahi e tautoko ana i ngā mahi hei arai atu te mate urutā. Ano nei, ko te aronga matua, kia ora ai te tangata.

Kia mau ki nga kupu a kui ma, a koro ma: rauhītia, manaakitia, honohonoa, tatou ki a tatou ano.

E te iwi, kia haumaru te noho.

Hoe Tonga is committed to hosting safe and enjoyable Regional Sprint Champs leading up to the Waka Ama Nationals and World Sprint Champs in 2022. However, the situation with the Delta outbreak in Aotearoa remains a concern. We have a duty of care for our region’s paddlers and whānau and would like to ensure that we protect everyone from the spread of COVID-19.

After considering all the information about COVID-19 and taking into account the traffic light system announced by the NZ Government, the Board of Hoe Tonga has made the decision to mandate double vaccinations of paddlers for all Hoe Tonga events going forward.

Under the new traffic light system, no event with more than 100 participants would be able to go ahead unless participants are fully vaccinated. In addition, while the World Sprint Champs in London are still scheduled to go ahead, they will require all paddlers to be fully vaccinated.

Therefore, we want to start gearing up our waka ama community to meet these criteria. For our future events, we will have a ‘no jab, no paddle’ policy, requiring all participants 12 years or older to be fully vaccinated to be eligible to participate. If those paddlers are not fully vaccinated, they will not be eligible to participate in Hoe Tonga events, or be able to qualify for the Waka Ama Nationals through the Hoe Tonga regional events. For our upcoming Regional Sprint Champs, if official vaccination certificates via the NZ Government are not yet in place,  we will be asking all paddlers 12 years or older (and also the volunteers that assist in the running of the events) to confirm they are fully vaccinated by way of our event liability forms. More information on this will be released in the coming weeks.

Importantly, if you have not had your vaccination yet, there is still time. With the minimum 3-week gap between the first and second shot, paddlers can be fully vaccinated in time for our Regionals.

Our decision was not made lightly as everyone has the right to make a personal choice and we would like to respect each individual decision. However, we have received enough guidance and direction to pursue our course of action. We want to minimise the risk of paddlers and whanau being exposed to or potentially spreading COVID-19. Vaccination with the COVID-19 vaccine is one of the best ways to protect your whānau against COVID-19. High vaccination rates protect our whole community, including those who can’t be vaccinated for medical and age reasons. We all need to work together to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We have included below a list of common questions related to our stance on vaccinations.

In addition to the new vaccination requirement, our Board has also decided to adjust the dates for our two regional events. This is to give us more time to achieve the 90% vaccination rate across NZ, and increases the likelihood of our W6 event being able to go ahead:

  • W1 races: now held on 27 November
  • W6/W12 races: now held on 11/12 December

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I still paddle in the region if I am not vaccinated?

You can still paddle for your own club and in your own time but not in Hoe Tonga sanctioned events as there is a risk of you being exposed and or potentially exposing others to COVID-19.

How does the entry system work for paddlers?

All entries will require paddlers to sign a form to confirm that they have been vaccinated. If you have not signed the form you will not be eligible to enter into any events organised by Hoe Tonga.

If you have not been vaccinated to date, is it still possible to enter the upcoming Regional Sprint Champs?

There is enough time to get double vaccinated in time for our upcoming Regionals.

Where can I get more information about the vaccine?

Go to FAQs: Doctors Stand Up For Vaccination.

Where can I get General Government information and updates?

Go to Unite against COVID-19.