Press Release – Manukau Urban Maori Authority
Portage Crossing Celebrates its 27th Year
Waka Ama Retracing Ancient Waka Path & Free Music Event at Māngere Bridge
The annual Portage Crossing on Saturday 9 February retraces an ancient Tainui waka path of 800 years when tūpuna Māori navigated into the Isthmus of Tāmaki Makaurau.
The modern day 18 kilometre Waka Ama race in its 27th year follows the same path from Okahu Bay to Manukau Harbour.
Hundreds of competitors honouring this historical whakapapa will race towards the finish line at Māngere Bridge Waterfront Reserve where a special pōwhiri is planned for their arrival. Several thousand spectators are expected to turn up in support.
On the same site a free all-day community concert featuring 15 acts headlined by hip hop group, Smashproof and reggae band 1814 will be held.
“Portage Crossing is a significant historical reference point for Auckland. This event celebrates the journey Tainui would have made 8 centuries ago into the region which is now our city. The whole event has all the elements, a whānau day of celebration with a contemporary flavour and with a strong cultural tradition.
It’s a healthy day out for everyone as we gather together to celebrate and acknowledge such a founding tradition,” says Manukau Urban Maori Authority (MUMA) Chief Executive Officer, Wyn Osborne.
Manukau Urban Maori Authority is hosting Portage Crossing in partnership with Auckland Council , Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board , Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board , Panuku Development Auckland  and Mainfreight .
“Mana Whenua, the Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board and Auckland Council have recently commenced planning a significant new initiative for Ōtāhuhu and Tāmaki Makaurau which celebrates the pathway of tūpuna Māori connecting the Tāmaki River and Māngere Inlet. Once realised, this project will allow the Portage Crossing event to take place in the footprints of tūpuna Māori, a proud celebration and statement of culture, heritage, connection, innovation and wellbeing,” says Phil Wihongi, Māori Design Leader at Auckland Council .
The ‘fizz free’ free community event will start from 10am to 4.30pm and feature a range of food, produce and information stalls.