Okeanos Cultural Adviser, New Zealand
Okeanos’ mission is to implement a pan Pacific inter-island vaka network.
Our community knows the many ways traditionally designed sustainable sea transportation can provide the basis for place based solutions to challenges Pacific Islands are facing.
We know that modern vakas naturally fulfill Pacific public service needs from disaster relief to fundamental transportation of cargo, medicine and people, while providing dynamic education and research platforms and also fostering a variety of small commercial enterprises.
Okeanos’ philanthropic objective is social entrepreneurship intended to build upon traditional culture and genius to develop local capacity for fossil fuel-free sea transportation, sailers, boat builders and business operators. As such, Okeanos provides, at no cost to the islands, traditionally designed fossil fuel-free sailing canoes called Vaka Motus internationally certified for open ocean commercial use and equipped with solar panels and coconut oil engines.
Okeanos Vaka Motus are brought to islands through a BOT (Build, Operate and Transfer) model. We do this by partnering with, and hiring, local crew and operators to establish an island based Okeanos limited business based on competitive use of Vaka Motu. In addition to the use of the Okeanos vessel, our foundation assumes all costs for local crew training including captain’s certification and assistance establishing a local, community led business model that generates revenue for the islanders. Our goal is to prove that the islands can use modernized traditional vessels, and native energy sources of sun, coconut oil and wind, to meet the countries’ needs for sustainable sea transportation.
Through regular, competitive commercial use of the Vaka motu, the local crew will integrate the fossil fuel free vessel into the nation’s sea transportation network and generate revenue to pay for the cost of the vessel at a depreciated rate.
All revenue generated from Okeanos Vaka Motu limited business activities stay within the Pacific island countries used to develop sustainable sea transportation capacity. The canoes are not gifted to the countries but rather earned through regular revenue generating operations. No revenue goes to Okeanos as we are a philanthropic organization.
Okeanos seeks to align our vaka production with forward thinking Pacific policy frameworks such as:
Pacific Island Forum’s Framework for Pacific Regionalism with its key value to:
treasure the diversity and heritage of the Pacific and seek an inclusive future in which cultures, traditions and religious beliefs are valued, honoured and developed.
and principal objective to establish:
Sustainable development that combines economic social, and cultural development in ways that improve livelihoods and well-being and use the environment sustainably;
As well as Society for Pacific Community (SPC) “Framework for Action on Transportation Services” call to action stating:
Improved regional transport services underpin the Pacific Plan vision of ‘a region of peace, harmony, security and economic prosperity, so that all of its people can lead free and worthwhile lives….’
With their primary goal to provide:
Safe, secure, regular, reliable and affordable transport services for enhanced sustainable development.
To learn more about Okeanos’ current initiatives, please download our project document, “A Pan-Pacific Vaka Network: Institutionalizing Modern Polynesian Sailing Boats”
Sustainable Sea Transportation
Climate Change Preparedness
Disaster Relief Assistance
Innovative Research Platforms
Work Force Development
Transformative, Place-Based Education