Hi Judy -
my partner Orlando and I have just returned from our waka tour with Tani and Soni (sorry, I might not have the names spelt right!). Tani asked me for a voucher or something, but all I have is this confirmation email which I'd forgotten to take with me this morning. He asked if I could email it back to you to confirm we had attended.
Can I also add that we truly enjoyed our few hours with Tani and Soni. Tani spent most of the time - at our request - telling us stories of your history and culture. He is a remarkable young man who is clearly proud of his heritage, and we felt very honoured by the time he took with us this morning. Both Soni and Tani made us feel very welcome, and their wonderful natures shone through.
With just two of us on board we felt as it it was a private tour, and I can barely remember much of the river scenery (except for the beautiful waterfall) as we were so engrossed in Tani's history lessons. He recited at least 17 generations of his genealogy to us, peppered throughout with stories of some of the heroes who are in his bloodline. His grandfather, his mother and you must be really proud of him.
Please thank Tani and Soni for enduring our endless questions, and tell them that they have inspired us to seek more about the real story of the Ngapuhi and the real history of this country.
Thank you so much for what will no doubt be the highlight of our trip to NZ. A very happy New Year to you all.
Mairead & Orlando