Nga Waka Tai Tokerau is gearing up to host more than 400 kaihoe in the Bay of Islands next week for the annual Waitangi Day regatta.
Chair Robert Gabek says a tent village is going up at Haruru Falls to accommodate them all.
Kaihoe come back year after year to learn the canoe traditions and celebrate being Maori.
“Over the years they can progress from being a kaihoe to a kaihautu by exhibiting their skills, their ability to teach others, ability to teach others, ability to carry themselves and it grows on a lot of our young people coming through. They come year after year and we can see them growing themselves and taking leadership roles through the vehicle of waka,” says Robert Gabel.