Te Kapene - Behind the Weave

Wayfarer Collection - Noa Blanket Co

Te Kapene.

Inspired by Living Legends.

Captain  and Master Navigator, Jack Thatcher, QSM. 

In times of great uncertainty, of challenge and adversity, like our ancestors upon their voyaging waka we look to our navigator, the wayfarer. Observant of the environment, learned and experienced, with great knowledge of the past and great foresight into the future, the navigator, when it may seem imperceivable to others, can take bearing and communicate the correct course to reach our destination.


“The role of the navigator is to look into adversity and find opportunity”

Turanga Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr.


As Matariki rises, with it our dearly departed are carried and cast to the heavens as stars in the sky. As we acknowledge those who have passed, we reflect and wish they were here to receive the much deserved accolades for their hard lifetime of dedication and work. Following a period of great loss of leadership in our community, we were motivated to create more ways to  acknowledge our leaders whilst they are alive to hear praise for the chiefly characteristics, traits and attributes of great leadership they embody. To acknowledge and give honor where it is due, before its overdue.


Captain  and Master Navigator, Jack Thatcher, QSM.

Captain of many great waka including Te Aurere and Ngāhirakamaitawhiti, protoge of the late Tā Hekenukumai Busby, Jack Thatcher, was influential in the revival of waka and traditional voyaging in Aotearoa and throughout Polynesia. Foundational member of Te Puna i Rangiriri Charitable Trust, responsible for the revival of maurākau and kapahaka in Tauranga Moana, developing competitive kapahaka across all age groups from tamariki to pakeke. Establishing a nationally competitive adult kapahaka group, Tūtarakauika. Created the Tauranga Moana Tauranga Tangata Festival as a way to strengthen our relationships and identity. Reestablished Matariki practices in Tauranga Moana and now across Aotearoa as a part of the expert committee for the new Matariki National Holiday. Taiao champion, kaitiaki, husband, father, chief.

This blanket design was inspired by Jack Te Kapene Thatcher. influential in the revival of waka and traditional voyaging in Aotearoa and throughout Polynesia. 

Not only a master navigator upon the sea but also upon land in our community, like on the waka, in times of adversity, he spies opportunity, applying his knowledge, hands on the hoe, and with a calm and sometimes, not so calm voice of guidance we are able to stay the course, with a bearing on reaching a new Hawaiiki for our people.


This blanket pays homage to our navigators, those visionaries that can see the opportunities or the destination in times of adversity and lead the people to reach it. 

The design features symbolism from the kāpehu whetu, the Navigational Star Compass. The  waka hourua (double hulled voyaging canoe) is the central motif, an ode to our legacy of voyging and dicovery and Jacks lifetime of dedication to sustain its knowledge. The four winds, the cardinal points and the various houses of the sun that divide the horizon. We also featured the two avian guardians of the Mataatua waka, Mumuhou and Takeretou, reflected again in the side borders as Ngoi, a bird used by navigators to find land.

Jack also revived the observance of Matariki within Tauranga Moana and is a part of the team of expert committee for the new Matariki holiday. A stylised interpretation of Matariki, Taumatakuku, Tautoru and Takurua star clusters are reflected with alternating colors to identify their cycle both rising with the sun and in the night sky after sunset.

Read more about this series:
The Wayfarer Story - Part 2
The Wayfarer Story - Part 3
The Wayfarer Story - Part 4

Whakapono: Behind the Weave
Te Ata Hāpara, The Dawn of a New Day
Personal musings from our Creative Director
Te Ata Hāpara: The dawn of a new day is coming