Oldest nanny competes at Waka Ama Nationals

By Taroi Black

Ngahuia Morehu is the oldest competitor at the 2019 Waka Ama National Sprint regatta in Karapiro. As Taroi Black reports the 82 year-old was given a national salute at New Zealand's biggest waka ama annual event. 

Morehu says, "I didn't at first enter but when I saw everybody else, they were all so excited and then I thought, oh gosh I might as well have a go." 

She comes from Rotorua and joined Hei Matau club to paddle alongside other keen competitors who are stepping out of their comfort zone as well.  

"It's alright so long that we start correctly without the black flag and so long as we pass the line and that's all we need to do."

Through the regatta, Ngahuia has three generations competing in Karapiro, one of them is Te Rito Rika, who is amazed by his nannies achievements. 

"My nan is awesome because she can do this at her age", Te Rito said. 

Her background in sports span over 70 years, eventually becoming a netball and softball coach. 

"It is absolutely wonderful for me to be with all of them, a good friendly group we have only just met but very friendly and lovely to be part of them", she said. 

Finally, after two days of paddling Ngahuia was given the best treatment any elderly kuia could receive if they have what it takes to compete at Karapiro.