A brief update from the Hoe Tonga Board

Hoe Tonga getting Around

We are getting out and about, introducing ourselves and learning more about the clubs. Please if you are having a club committee/ executive meeting we will would welcome the opportunity for one of our board members to attend. Let us know when your club meetings are on by sending an email to hoetonga@gmail.com.

For those interested in more detail, you can find minutes of the Hoe Tonga Board meetings at https://hoetonga.co.nz/about-2/governance-board/meetings/

Regionals wrap up

At the end of 2017, we had our most successful regionals to date in terms of participant numbers with over 500 paddlers participating on the day and nearly 130 races.

  • The first time where we had all volunteers sorted prior to the event without any gaps for stations.
  • Holding the 12 man races on Saturday allowed the event to run to time on the Sunday and add addition races
  • We had some complications with water quality and weed. This was an additional cost and took significant effort to clear before the races. Masterton District Council Hoe Tonga is working to alter the lakes water flow to allow more fresh water to flow into the lake improving the water quality and reducing the weeds. This will go to the resource consent stage in the middle of 2018, and we are looking to strongly support this action.

Paddler Series planning

  • We have received interest from clubs wanting to host races in this year’s long distances paddler series during winter.
  • There was some concern about the point system last year and Hoe Tonga invited feedback from clubs on this. We will be maintaining the point system from last year, but adding a stipulation around competing in one division – more details to come.
  • Races will be approximately 4 weeks apart.
  • Dates and information will be available on the HT website, and HT Facebook, likely from late March.

Regional Development Officer

  • We are in contract negotiations with Sport Wellington, in order to lock in the funding that they approved in principle. We are hoping to the RDO in place by the middle of 2018, initial funding is for one year to deliver on key objectives such as growth for waka ama in schools.

Strategic plan

  • Our strategic plan 2014-2018 will need to be replaced with a new one. We will be in touch with clubs in the next couple of months with details for a workshop to start that process.




Wellington Region Secondary Schools Waka Ama Sprint Champs 2018 Results

Kia ora tatou

Great to see our region’s top secondary schools talent going head to head at this year’s regional sprint champs. Awesome to see teams lift the standard of racing as well.

A big thanks to all volunteers, sponsors, clubs and schools for their help to make the day happen.

Results are available for download here.

Photos and more will be uploaded to Hoe Tonga’s Facebook Page

Wellington RSS Waka Ama Sprint Champs Postponed to SUN 11 MARCH

Hoe Tonga Pacifica Waka Ama Association has decided to shift the racing to the postponement day as advertised – Sunday 11 March due to weather concerns.
Weather forecasts show the wind is scheduled to calm early Saturday afternoon, however Sunday offers a much better, safer course to race on.
Racing on Sunday will continue as originally planned with the current race schedule and lane draw still standing. Racing commences at 0830 on Sunday 11 March.
While this may not be suitable for all teams, this decision has been made in the interests of safety and to ensure our schools are offered the best opportunity to paddle. Schools that cannot participate are encouraged to contact hoetonga@gmail.com subject: POSTPONEMENT
Nga mihi
Matt Ammunson-Fyall, Race Director

Hoe Tonga Secondary School Regional Sprint Champs, 10 March



  • Host: Hoe Tonga Pacifica Waka Ama Association
  • Venue: Onepoto, Titahi Bay
  • When: 10 March 2018
  • Entries closed 2 March 2018.



  • There are no refunds for entries after the entry cut-off date where paddlers chose not to race or show up on race  day (even if invoices have not yet been received, or schools have not yet settled relevant entry fees).
  • Entries are to be done via each school (through the school sports coordinators)

Questions? Email hoetonga@gmail.com or call Matt on 027 508 8044. 

Rankings for Regional W12 team

Based on the results at Regionals 2017 (winning team in W6 500m plus fastest paddlers across the W1 Dash races), please find below the ranking of paddlers for the Men’s and Women’s Regional W12.

Should any paddlers listed below be unavailable to attend Nationals please contact hoetonga@gmail.com to advise as soon as possible giving an opportunity for those who are waitlisted to participate. Team captains are to be confirmed by Hoe Tonga.


  1. Paddy Rimene
  2. Joe Nuku
  3. Jorian Tangaere
  4. PJ Rimene-Albrett
  5. Shannon Rimene-Albrett
  6. Jordan Stuart
  7. HODGES, Turi
  8. TAIAPA, Parekoihu
  9. TE KERE, Mataiawhea
  10. HURIHANGANUI, Aperahama
  11. SAVELL   Jarrod
  12. BABBINGTON,   Ngarangi



  1. Marianna Hodges
  2. Ngahuia Henare
  3. Amiria Saltzmann
  4. Kawai Winiata
  5. Marianne Archer
  6. Hinekura Winiata
  7. ELKINGTON, Marama
  8. HENARE, Te Rangihuia
  9. COOK, Tunis
  10. THOMAS, Kayla
  11. TE PAA, Eden
  12. FA’AFOI, Jess

Next Waitlisted:

  • CRAWFORD, Nikki Lee

There may be an opportunity for both teams to have a training prior to Nationals and it will be the role of the appointed Team Captain/s (once appointed) to organise and notify paddlers of any training. The race itself is scheduled as a straight final at Nationals and it is the responsibility of the Team Captain to arrange paddlers seating in the W12 on the day if no prior training run has been undertaken.

Regionals 2017 round-up and results

And this was it for 2017. Last year’s event was our biggest yet, but 2017 topped it again, with close to 130 races and about 500 paddlers! We need more lanes…

A massive thank you to all officials, helpers and supporters that made this event possible. More than ever before, many of them pulled big hours to make this event happen. In the week leading up to the event, and despite water quality being better than ever before, the lake experienced excessive weed growth, likely due to the very warm weather over many weeks. Many helpers spend days clearing the lake!

Here a list of key officials and helpers:

  • Event organisation: Joern Scherzer, Gaylene Sciascia
  • Race course set-up, venue preparation and infrastructure: Paddy, Kath and the wider team from Wairarapa WACC; generator provided by Lawrence
  • W6 provision and transport: Porirua Canoe Kayak Club, Otaki Waka Hoe, Hawaiki Nui Waka Ama club
  • Finish line officials: Marinna, Petra & Andy Melville, Ani Suitauloa, Roimata Baker, Te Ara Herewini Smiler, Mereana Putaka, and others
  • Start line officials: James Sadler, Lawrence Ammunson-Fyall, Maaike Van Aalst
  • Flag boat officials: Thomas Tawhiri, Piki Emery, Jodie Sommerville
  • Back-up support boat: John Hodges and others
  • Support boat provision: Matt Archer & Mana Kayak Racing Club
  • Loading Bay: Karmen Wallace, and various other helpers to bail from Wairarapa WACC, Toa, PCKC, and Otaki
  • Marshalling/Announcer: Shanara Wallace
  • Registration officials, runner: Pania Haruru, Tam Tanirau, Rodney
  • Race director: Dennis Ngatai & Joern Scherzer
  • W1 weigh-in: Tia Tuuta, Trini Ropata, and others
  • IT pre-event support: Alex Ryder

There are many more, even if not specifically listed above!


Click here to download the full results.

Photos are yet to come. In the next few days please check Hoe Tonga’s facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Hoetonga/ 

Club trophies

The Club Excellence Award changed hands for the first time in 5 years, this year it was won by Otaki Waka Hoe, with Porirua Canoe Kayak Club in second, and Toa Waka Ama in third.

For the James Hapeta Club Spirit Award, Hoe Tonga implemented a revised approach for selecting a winner. Up to five points were awarded in each of four categories: (1) Ratio of club volunteers vs club entries, as at one week out from the event; (2) whether a club had complete team rosters at the deadlines and/or had late changes to their roster; (3) whether teams were wearing correct uniforms; and (4) attitude, who is going the extra mile over the two race days. The latter two categories were judged by all the key volunteers at the various official stations. Congratulations to Hikoikoi Waka Club for taking out this year’s club spirit award. Hawaikinui Waka Ama Club and Wairarapa Waka Ama Canoe Club were a very close second and third.

Schedule for Regionals Sprints 2017 (updated 6 Dec)

A draft race schedule and lane draw is now available for Regionals 2017.

Be aware that in some cases, some paddlers/teams were shifted into another division to fill up a race. This is marked for each entry, eg Schmidt, Hans (SNR MASTER).

Please note! This year’s number of entries has been unprecedented, with 131 races scheduled, which is A LOT more than last year. For Saturday, this means 75 races, as unfortunately we can only fit four lanes. In order to manage this, here an updated list of key times, with everything commencing 40min earlier than originally scheduled and advised in the race information package.

  • 6.00am – Volunteers meet: event preparation commences; pick up resources for officials stations from registration
  • 6.30am – Weigh in and sign in commences
  • 7.30am – Karakia, race and safety briefing for clubs and competitors
  • 7.45am – Race calls commence, starter and aligner boat head out / all official stations ready for action
  • 8am – Racing commences

We are asking all paddlers and clubs to be very proactive and organized, in order to enable us to manage the order of the day. If paddlers are late to the loading bay, or are missing gear such as lane number holders, officials will not hesitate to load races without those paddlers. Races will not be held back if someone waits for a canoe to come back from a previous race.

Further to the above, please be aware that due to the extensive hot weather period, Henley Lake is experiencing weed growth. We are doing our best to minimise any adverse effects on paddler’s ability to compete.

Click here for further information on this event.


Selection process for Regional W12 at Nationals 2018

The following sets out the process for Hoe Tonga’s selection of the regional W12 that will compete at Nationals 2018. The process applies to both men and women.

Selection will be done by a selector (to be appointed by the Hoe Tonga Board) based on the following:

Step 1: The six paddlers in the W6 that wins the respective open 500m event gain a spot.

Step 2: Selection of the other paddlers will be based on the following:

  • Next 6 fastest times in 250 Dash race (across both J19 and Open dash races).
  • If there are still places to be filled (eg due to an insufficient number of paddlers competing in the dash events), additional paddlers will be selected based on the fastest times in the W1 500m event  (across J19, Open and Master events)
  • If there are still places to be filled, then the decision for the selection of additional paddler(s) will be made by the selector based on any other relevant information.

Role of the selector:

The selector’s role is to select paddlers based on the above process. As it is unlikely that there will be opportunities for the selected team to train together, and the regional W12 race at Nationals is a straight final, the role does not automatically include a coaching capacity (unless otherwise mutually agreed between selected paddlers and the selector). The selector may appoint a team captain, whose role will be to organise the team on race day.


Hoe Tonga is working towards each paddler receiving a race shirt for this event at Nationals 2018.

Inter-club W12 entries for Nationals 2018 (W12 made up by paddlers from 2 clubs)

As per rule 21.7 in the Waka Ama NZ race rules, W12 crews at Nationals can be made up of competitors from up to two clubs from the same region, but only in the following divisions:

  • Midget
  • Intermediate
  • Senior Master
  • Golden Master
  • Master 70

This rule only applies where a club does not have sufficient paddlers to form their own, stand-alone, W12 crews in those age categories.  A W12 crew made up of two clubs may be a combination of any number of paddlers from those two clubs. They must satisfy all other rules as specified in the race rules.

If your club wishes to combine with another club in the above divisions, please take note of the following:

  • The proposed entry will need to be sent to hoetonga@gmail.com by no later than 12 December. This will ensure that Hoe Tonga has sufficient time to make the entries to meet the Waka Ama NZ timeframes.
  • Entries are to be submitted only by an executive officer of one of the clubs. In the email the relevant executive officer must provide confirmation that (i) both clubs agree on the entry and its name (copy in other relevant executive officers), and (ii) that the entry has been checked by both clubs to comply with relevant rules.
  • Paddler names must be submitted to hoetonga@gmail.com no later than 31 December 2017. Hoe Tonga will not chase up unfilled rosters – relevant late fees will be passed on to clubs. It is the club’s responsibility to inform Hoe Tonga of the roster, or of any changes to the roster. Paddler names should not be submitted until all paddlers have been checked by the clubs as being on the Waka Ama NZ membership database for their club.