This page has been designed for quick browsing through the history with short summaries of each milestone, to read more about any particular milestone either click the heading of the milestone or the “Read More” button. If you would like to read the complete content as a single continuous page then please click here. If you are looking for the history of the KASK organisation click here.
Elsdon Best’s classic treatise The Maori Canoe, first published in 1925 and reprinted in 1976, contains detailed descriptions of the construction and types of vessels used by the Maori.
Vaka Moana edited by K.R. Howe, 2006, reprint 2008, has a list of Further Reading concerning canoes coming to and being used in New Zealand.
Pathway of the Birds: The Voyaging Achievements of Māori and Their Polynesian Ancestors by Andrew Crowe, published 2018 explains how islands were found in the Pacific from a distance and why New Zealand probably existed and was worth looking for.
Since the late 1970’s the level of interest in sea kayaking has grown steadily. Several kayak clubs and networks, including Auckland Canoe Club, Bay Association of Sea Kayakers (BASK), Hauraki Kayak Club, Northland Canoe Club, Nelson Canoe Club, Ruahine White Water Club and Canterbury Sea Kayak Network, regularly include offshore trips in their paddling calendars.
The following history of sea kayaking, refers to European-style canoes and kayaks.
In the following, years given are the start of an event or trip.
Sources for information in this brief history are:
Paul Caffyn / http://paulcaffyn.co.nz/nz-kayaking-history/
A History of the Sport of Canoeing in New Zealand 1840 to 1972 by M.E. Fyfe
New Zealand Canoeing, and New Zealand Canoe and Rafting, edited by G. Egarr
Flashing Paddles, by P.J. Lucas (the story of George Park).
The Sea Canoeist Newsletter