We are not separated by an ocean. It is what connects us.

Sailing outrigger canoes is a long-held tradition across Polynesia; however, its revival in Aotearoa (New Zealand) is in its infancy. Red Star International, Inc. seeks to revitalize and preserve the traditional practice of mātangirua – sailing outrigger canoes.

Our traditional practices affirm our cultural identity, community connection and our relationship with the natural environment.

Mātangirua is a vehicle for sharing traditional knowledge, promoting cultural values, language, and identity, and developing sailing and safety skills on the ocean.

Traditional sailing practices help youth and community to develop leadership, strengthen belonging and kinship, foster teamwork and cultivate generosity.

Our interactions with the ocean and marine life emphasize our relationships and responsibilities as guardians to protect and promote the ocean’s health.

A Canoe We Can All Be a Part Of

Wherever canoes are tied, enlightenment comes forth.

Promoting sailing is a new area for Red Star. We are building our capacity to contribute to national efforts across Aotearoa (New Zealand) to preserve traditional sailing knowledge and practices by providing programs that:

• Promote Indigenous knowledge and intergenerational sharing.

• Build youth and community leadership and resilience.

• Increase understanding of, and a sense of responsibility for, the natural environment.

• Build confidence, skill and safety on the water.


Our efforts to promote traditional sailing knowledge and practices are led by Frank Kawe (Ngāti Ranginui/Ngāti Kahungunu).  Frank has spent the last 20 years sailing across the Pacific to relearn and revitalize the traditional arts of waka ama (outrigger canoe) and waka hourua (voyaging canoe) in Aotearoa/New Zealand and Hawaii. Hailing from Tauranga, New Zealand, Frank has sailed and trained with the world’s renowned celestial navigators and waka captains from across Micronesia/Polynesia to uphold their legacy and voyaging traditions.