The Motu River lies in the ancestral lands of the East Coast Ancestor, Apanui Ringamutu. Blair 'Jah Lion' Trotman, with consultation from local hāpu representative Louis Rāpihana, shares the rich history of the Motu Awa and how its current kaitiaki (guardians) continue to care for the river today.
It all started in the nineties with a group of paddlers keen to meet annually and paddle whitewater. Now an official tradition after twenty years, this tight-knit group continues to gather every Christmas to pass on their knowledge and love of kayaking to the next generation.
Despite high river levels cancelling their canoeing trip, this adventurous group of DOE Gold qualifiers bring a whole new meaning to 'carpe diem.' With their extra time, they tackle whitewater rafting, rock climbing and canyoning, even climbing Mount Ruapehu with ice axes.
Fascinated and frightened by the thought of whitewater kayaking, Alastair McDowell embraces his fears (and excitement) to join his mates on a weekend packrafting trip in Mt Cook. After his partner's paddle breaks, Alastair gets thrown in at the deep end and learns the art of navigation.