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.