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CANCELLED: 2022 Te Wānanga o Aotearoa National Sprint Championships


Lake Karapiro


Sun 16th Jan - Sat 22nd Jan 2022




Waka Ama NZ

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Kia ora koutou te whānau o waka ama. We hope that you and all your whānau are all safe and well at this time. COVID-19 has certainly been difficult and challenging for everyone. The Waka Ama New Zealand Board have reviewed the current COVID-19 information available and have made a decision regarding our event

As you will be aware we have been monitoring the latest COVID-19 situation closely. We are in contact with Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa, Government agencies and health professionals regularly to stay abreast of matters.

The Waka Ama New Zealand Board have reviewed the current COVID-19 information available and have made the very difficult decision that the Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Waka Ama Sprint Nationals will be cancelled for 2022.

We know that this will be very disappointing for all our Regions, member clubs, paddlers, volunteers and whānau and we share in that disappointment. The decision was not taken lightly and has been made, first and foremost, with the safety of everyone in mind.

The Board has made this decision earlier than our previously advised decision making date of 13th December in light of our values, manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, hauora, tū tāngata and the following factors:

  • Our ability to ensure everyone’s safety from COVID-19 at and around the event.
  • Our concern for Tamariki under 12 who are unable to be vaccinated against COVID-19 at this time and therefore at high risk of contracting the virus.
  • Nationals will contribute to increased travel of our waka ama whānau throughout Aotearoa and the potential for COVID-19 to spread back to many of our waka ama communities as a result.
  • The knowledge that although all adult attendees at Nationals will be required to be vaccinated, that there is still a risk, albeit reduced, for COVID to be transmitted.
  • The large inequities and disparity in vaccination rates for Māori and Pasifika whānau compared with general population vaccination percentages - click here for Vaccination Statistics in Aotearoa    
  • 75% of participants at the event are Māori or Pasifika 
  • Uncertainty regarding the COVID Protection Framework (Traffic light system), how successful its roll out will be over summer and the impacts it will have.

This will be the first time in 32 years, since the event started in 1990, that we will not have a Waka Ama Sprint Nationals. This event has grown to become part of many of our lives and a highlight on our Waka Ama calendar, an opportunity to come together, catch up with friends and whānau, make new friends, share culture, compete on the water and celebrate a sport and kaupapa that gives us all so much.

We plan to provide opportunities for everyone to share their Nationals experiences, virtually through the sharing of stories, photos and footage and celebrate the event even though it cannot take place next year.

Many of you will have questions and we are happy to answer any and all questions that you have. We will put out some further information shortly regarding what the plan moving forward will be for qualification to World Sprint Championships in both teams and W1’s.

To all our waka ama whānau who are essential workers and health professionals, we would like to thank you all for the mahi you have done and continue to do to protect and help us all while putting your own lives and whānau at risk.

 Finally, whānau, please continue to stay safe over the next couple of months, look after each other, be kind and make decisions that will help keep you and your whānau safe during this time.

 Please contact [email protected] should you have any questions.

Kia kaha, kia manawanui, kia haumaru ōu koutou noho

Te Poari me Te Tari o Ngā Kaihoe o Aotearoa

The Board and office of Waka Ama New Zealand

Zalene Douglas - Board Chair 

Lara Collins - Chief Executive

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