This year, New Zealand marks 250 years since the first meetings between Māori and Europeans during Captain James Cook and the Endeavour’s 1769 voyage to Aotearoa New Zealand.
Tuia Encounters 250 acknowledges this piviotal moment in our nations’s history as well as the exceptional feats of Pacific voyagers who reached and settled in Aotearoa many years earlier.
A highlight of the commemorations is the six-boat Tuia 250 Voyage Flotilla, which will start its journey in Gisborne on 5 October and will sail to Uawa/Tolaga Bay before visiting Mercury Bay from October 18-21.
Wharekaho (Simpsons Beach) in Mercury Bay is the second main site where Māori and Captain Cook met. This was also the site where Cook and his crew observed the transit of Mercury.
The fleet will land at the northern end of Wharekaho where it will be met by Ngāti Hei and proceed to the southern end of the beach to the historic Ngāti Hei pa site where a pōwhiri will take place.
When the boats visit Mercury Bay there will be opportunities for the public to go aboard. Alongside the boats, a range of other events will include:
5 - 11 October - Voyage begins with national Opening Ceremonies in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Gisborne
12 to 16 October - Ūawa/ Tolaga Bay
18 to 21 October -Te Pōwhiri, The Welcome
25 – 28 October - Labour weekend at Tamaki Makaurau / Auckland
31 October - November to Whangarei
7 - 11 Novemberto Bay of Islands
21 - 28 November to Marlborough Sounds / Picton
30 November - 3 December - The Tuia 250 Flotilla arrives in Wellington
6 - 10 December to Christchurch/ Rapaki/ Lyttleton
15 December - Closing ceremony at Te Māhia