Rebecca Larsen


Rebecca Larsen, author and illustrator, has always had a natural talent to create and draw. As a young girl she always had colours in her hand and enjoyed creating stories and art. Row, row, row your waka was Rebecca’s first book. Having been overseas for several years, Rebecca wanted to introduce te reo in a fun way to her two pre-school boys. As the book was initially created for family, Rebecca asked her family and friends to help her develop this songbook for all tamariki around the country and overseas. Rebecca and her whānau are based in Papamoa.

Author & Illustrator

Tania Solomona


Tania Solomona, translator and Māori adviser, has been on this waka journey from near the beginning. Tania invited Rebecca to read and sing her first mock-up book to the two Māori immersion classrooms at Arataki Primary School, Mt Maunganui, where she works as team leader for the bilingual and immersion classrooms. It was a hit, with the students singing along and performing the actions. Tania’s personal waka is Te Arawa, and her iwi are Ngāti Rangitihi and Tūhourangi. Tania and her whānau live in Tauranga.

Translation and Māori Adviser

Justin Kereama


 Justin Kereama has taught te reo for over a decade, but comes with a life of knowledge as Māori is his first language. Justin joined our waka journey as a senior mentor and adviser for both his language and musical expertise. Justin’s iwi is Tūhoe, in the eastern Bay of Plenty. His interests include playing Māori musical instruments, such as taonga puoro, and taiaha.

The love of music and Māori culture are at the heart of his whānau. Justin and his whānau live in Ruatoki. Justin is married to the beautiful and talented Whirimako Black.


Te reo is fun and free to learn at many institutions, and we encourage you to embrace this opportunity. 

Translation and Māori Adviser

Paul Inia


Paul Inia has performed in bands for over 20 years, and it was his voice that captured the heart of his partner, Hayley. Entertaining kids comes just as naturally to Paul as singing. Paul is related to the Larsen family, as Hayley is sister to Rebecca and Richard. Paul’s iwi is Ngāti Hikairo in Kāwhia. Paul and his whānau live in Wainuiomata, Wellington.


Richard Larsen


Richard Larsen comes with a wealth of experience in music composition and production. Rebecca’s brother, Richard was asked to bring his talents to this project, and he took up the challenge with professionalism and mana. Richard is a founding member of Wellington psychedelic band GlassVaults and continues to be an active and prolific contributor towards the band’s songwriting repertoire. Richard has toured as a musician both nationally and internationally. As well as his work in music, Richard teaches primary-level education. Richard lives in Christchurch.

Music Producer

Special Acknowledgements


With special thanks to all of our whānau and friends for your support and encouragement. To Lorraine and Paul Larsen, Michael Anger, Rochelle Fatai, Tracey Moka, Bill Honeybone, Stuart Gunn, Tauranga Writers, Jenny Agante, Millie Freeman, Richard Hoit, Craig Smith, Angie Belcher, Kat Quin Merewether, Arataki School, TP Print, Te Puke Library, Papamoa Library.

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