Whanganui Regional Museum opened its doors to anyone that wanted to create their own waka and learn about their family's journey on Thursday.

The project is called Ngā Hekenga and so far more than 700 vessels have been made by whānau around the Whanganui area.

The museum partnered with the Whanganui Learning Centre to host the project after Gail Harrison approached them and it was a part of the festival of learning.

Museum educator Margie Beautrais said it was about getting students to think about where they have come from.


"I'm trying to give people in the public who haven't had a chance to take part with a school, an opportunity to come in and make their own waka and tell their own little migration story.

"We wanted to do something that got families talking to one another."

Emma Bugden took up the offer and visited the museum with her daughter Peggy Stark and her friend Bea Ward-Collins.

They go to Harriette Vine Kindergarten and Springvale Playcentre and enjoyed cutting, gluing and folding paper into their own waka.

The festival of learning ends on Saturday, but Beautrais will continue teaching a programme about waka hourua and emphasising whakapapa to students.