Kura Ariki Whatu Manawa, formally our units North Shore Rescue, has started her new life in the far north with our friends Coastguard Houhora. This vessel still holds significance for our unit and its volunteers with many both fond and trying memories. A very special post here from Houhora in tribute to the vessel's name and identity dating back to when she was first launch and blessed on the beaches of Auckland's East Coast Bays. Lovely!'Kura Ariki Whatu Manawa'
As you know our unit has received a dedicated rescue vessel formerly with Coastguard North Shore.
I am sure many of you will be interested in the meaning of our vessel name - 'Kura Ariki Whatu Manawa' and an account of the blessing it was given when first launched.
The following is written by North Shore Coastguard Volunteer Matt Rea-Rankin,
'When we were getting ready to launch North Shore Rescue our President Chris Webb thought it should have a Maori blessing as well as the Christian one.
In the pre dawn darkness before sunrise, the late Dr Arnold Wilson, Kaumatua from Awataha Marae, and accompanied by members of his Whanau went out to Gulf Harbour where this vessel was being kept prior to the formal reception and events that were to follow later that day.
I accompanied them on behalf of the unit and because as someone with Ngai Tahu and Tainui ancestry I personally felt this was important.
It was that special moment before the dawn where things are very still and quiet. The light of the new day had not yet pierced the sky, and the water in the marina was inky black and smooth with not a ripple on the water. The time when the spirits are about.
They walked around the vessel, inciting the most ancient of rituals, karakia, and observing all Tikanga. It was a very special and moving moment, and tingles ran up my spine. They were very pleased at several omens that occurred including fish that jumped from the water right next to the boat at a key moment.
Arnold placed a feather on the boat. He told us that the feather is there to protect the crew from danger and that it should not be removed. Chris Webb and I made sure we told the unit about this, and Chris assured me the feather had been hidden behind panels in a secure location and during subsequent refit was also taken special care of. So if you find a feather on board at some stage if you are fixing the boat it is there for a reason!
Arnold also gave her a name, 'Kura Ariki Whatu Manawa'. He explained it to me as follows; Kura Ariki was a great seagoing leader from ancient times, and I am sure he told me Kura Ariki was a woman. Whatu Manawa means ‘of big heart’. Together, it means a leader of the seas, with the courage and heart that it takes to go into danger to save others. I told him that the boat WOULD save lives and I thought it was a very fitting and special name and thanked him. After many years and hours of service, with some truly challenging seas and tragic situations, our people have all gotten home safe, and as us mariners are at least a little bit superstitious I do reflect on the blessing we received from Arnold.
When the boat was transferred to Browns Bay for its formal reception and official launching, accompanied by a flotilla of other Coastguard vessels, Arnold’s son Anthony accompanied her from the water, up the beach sounding a conch shell, and signalling the special moment that was her arrival at her new home.
I hope that this vessel serves you well, and that you too are all safe in the protection of her wairua as you carry on the work of Saving Lives at Sea.'
Matt Rea-Rankin, ... See MoreSee Less
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Browns bay Santa Parade ... See MoreSee Less
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Here we go! ... See MoreSee Less
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