Ko te kaiārahi kaiwhakakairo ko Mātahi Avauli Whakataka-Brightwell e tautokona ana e te runanga o te marae of Pahiatua. I tīmata te mahi i te tau 1979. I te tau 1981 i neke atu te waka ki tētahi Kura Whakakairo ki Porirua kia oti ai. I te tau 1985 i haere atu te waka o Whakataka-Brightwell rāua ko te kaiwhakatere ko Francis Cowan nō Tahiti, mai i Tahiti, ki Rarotonga, ki Aotearoa e orite nei ki ngā haerenga o Ngātia Arawa me Tainui i ngā wā i mua. Nā ngā whetu i haere ai te waka.
Head carver Greg Whakataka stands between the two canoe hulls at Pahiatua before they were shifted to Porirua. The Pahiatua Marae Association were the original hosts of the project to build the Aotearoa-Hawaiiki waka, begun in December 1979. In 1980 the decision was made to complete the waka at a carving school in Porirua. The double-hulled waka was made to traditional standards and in 1985 sailed the traditional route of Te Arawa - Tainui from Tahiti to Rarotonga then south-west to Aotearoa.
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