Whetū Mārama: Bright Star

9 Herschell Street, Napier

Documentary Whetū Mārama – Bright Star tells the story of Sir Hekenukumai Ngaiwi Puhipi — aka 'Hek' Busby — and his significance for Māori in reigniting their wayfinding DNA. At age 50 the former bridge builder embraced waka building and traditional Māori navigation. This trailer contains snippets of interviews, waka hourua voyaging and footage of Busby and navigator Nainoa Thompson on the Aurere, a traditional, double-hulled waka which Busby built and sailed across the Pacific in 1985. Directors Toby Mills and Aileen O'Sullivan spent 15 years developing the documentary alongside Busby, who died in 2019.

For Māori, the canoe underpins our culture. We once built waka/canoes from giant trees and sailed the vast Pacific by the stars. These arts were lost to us for 600 years. Then the stars re-aligned and three men from far flung islands revived our place as the greatest navigators on the planet, a Hawaiian, a Micronesian and Hek Busby, “The Chief” from Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Whetū Mārama: Bright Star is the story of Sir Hekenukumai Ngaiwi Puhipi, aka Hek Busby, and his significance for Māori in rekindling their wayfinding DNA and for all New Zealanders in reclaiming our place as traditional star voyagers on the world map.

1 hr 34 mins
Limelight Distribution

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MTG Century Theatre, Napier, Hawke's Bay / Gisborne

9 Herschell Street, Napier

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