WHEN Dennis Paul heard about HookUp, he knew he wanted to get on board.
The Rotorua native will be honouring Tangaroa, the guardian of the ocean, on the first night of proceedings, alongside indigenous Australians.
"A family fishing competition teaches a whole generation to fish," he said.
"What will people do when the eftpos breaks down? They'll go fishing."
The Maori culture survives on a diet largely based on seafood, and Mr Paul said he was humbled by the task of performing his cultural ceremony in Gladstone.
"Our people are very connected to the ocean," he said.
"I feel very honoured for being trusted with this role and being able to give back some of my culture to the Gladstone community."
The former youth worker will lead five components in the ceremony, culminating in the traditional laying down of a challenge - The Haka.
Boyne Tannum HookUp launches on Friday, May 2.
Entries for Australia's biggest family fishing event will close on Sunday, April 27, or when sold out.