What is the Flotilla Whau?

For one day each year the Flotilla Whau activates the Whau river, bringing it back into view as a place of movement, transport history, and recreation while also highlighting its value as an ecosystem. The flotilla is made up of a diverse collection of water craft and people and is open to all groups and individuals - all we ask is that you register (signing in and out on the day), attend the safety briefing, obey the water safety rules and take care of each other and the environment so that we all have a good day on the river.

Formerly the Whau was an important waterway, a natural portage between the Manukau and Waitemata it allowed for transport and trade from the northern North Island to the Waikato. The Flotilla Whau celebrates the recent shift in the geographical significance of the Whau as part of the ‘Supercity’. Until recently the boundary between Auckland and Waitakere cities, under the new one Auckland governance schema the Whau river is again cast as a central stitch in Tamaki Makaurau, connecting east to west and the Manukau to the Waitemata.

Heralding further long-term urban regeneration projects aiming to re-integrate the fluid space of the Whau and its tributaries back into the imagination and environs of Avondale, New Lynn, Te Atatu, Kelston and Green Bay, the Flotilla re-imagines the Whau as a place of movement, exchange, trade and travel before it became secondary to arterial roads.

The Flotilla Whau operates as both art work and community event. Producing a memorable image of the potential of this waterway, evoking both past and future conditions, the event brings Whau users together, stimulating connection and ongoing discussion

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