Reflections from a Ki te Hoe Steerer..

Kia ora, my name is Maia, but you’ll come to know me as the -mostly- silent one who takes you on the occasional donut out on the roto (lake). Your guide’s my dad, Eugene, and although there’s a bit of a melanin difference between us, just look at the eyebrows and you’ll see the resemblance. I joined Ki te Hoe as a part of the family, helping out my parents before I head off to uni, but it ended up being a lot more... interesting than I expected.

I’ve had conversations with people from Canada, Chile, South Africa and all over New Zealand and taken people of every shape and size around our beautiful lake. I’ve lost a hat to the roto, never to be seen again, and waded through geothermal mud to rescue a cone and a yoghurt pottle. I’ve been caught in torrential rain, broken my shoes to the ‘gunge’ and have had to retrieve drink bottles form the water twice - but I wouldn’t trade in those experiences. Being able to share a part of my home with people from literally every corner of the world alongside my parents is a pretty good way to spend the summer, even if it means a 5am wakeup and having to use public bathrooms. Despite the fact that everytime we set up I always end up in the water/mud, knowing that we’re able to present a fully formed, culturally authentic experience to people who genuinely care is pretty decent.

If you come on the waka you’re in for a unique experience, I’m very much a ‘go where the wind takes us’ steerer. That might mean we go for one of my world famous on the roto 360s, or the tour lasts for a little longer as I try to convince the wind to blow left instead of right, but you’ll be safe, and you’ll get a pretty sick story out of it.

(And don't worry, we do the messy stuff so you don't have to.)


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