“” E Vaa, E Motu, E Motu E Vaa”, “My canoe is my island, my island is my canoe””
Tua is internationally recognized as a traditional voyaging seafarer and is hailed by many as being one of the Cook Islands favourite sons. He is one of two Traditional Master Navigators in the Cook Islands, and was bestowed with the title of Pwo navigator in 2008. Pwo is a sacred initiation ritual, in which students of traditional navigation in the Islands become master navigators and are initiated in the associated secrets of this ancient art.
Tua has navigated canoes for over thirty years and many miles, sailing without the use of modern instruments, using a traditional navigation system based on observations of the stars, Sun, Moon, the Ocean swells, the flight patterns of birds and other natural signs. He serves on the board of the Cook Islands Voyaging Society and is associated with the Polynesian Voyaging Society of Hawaii, he is also a sub Chief in the district of Takitumu of Rarotonga, holding the title of Teaia Mataiapo.