Saturday, 30 May 2020


Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla announced

The Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage chief executive, Bernadette Cavanagh, announced today the core vessels that will take part in the Tuia - Encounters 250 national commemorations.

“Tuia 250 acknowledges the stories from those first onshore encounters between Māori and Europeans, both good and bad, so we can learn about our history in a balanced and respectful way,” says Ms Cavanagh.

The Tuia 250 Voyage will include a flotilla of six core vessels - two waka hourua (double-hulled canoes), a va’a moana from Tahiti, two heritage ships and one youth ship, which will sail together to sites around New Zealand later this year.

“I’m excited to announce the vessels comprising the Tuia 250 Flotilla,” says Ms Cavanagh.

“The waka hourua are Haunui (pictured during a previous visit to Mercury Bay) from Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland and Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti from Tauranga. The va’a moana is Fa’afaite i te Ao Mā’ohi and joins the flotilla from Pape'ete, Tahiti.

“The heritage vessels joining the flotilla are the HMB Endeavour replica from the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney and the R. Tucker Thompson from Pēwhairangi / Bay of Islands. The youth ship is the Spirit of New Zealand from Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland

“The Royal New Zealand Navy will be supporting the voyage with naval vessels at different sites.

“This event will be so much more than simply focussing on what happened in 1769 when James Cook, Tupaia and the Endeavour crew arrived in Aotearoa,” says Ms Cavanagh.

“New Zealanders are ready for and want a balanced, respectful and honest reflection of our journey together from those encounters to now. The Tuia 250 Voyage will provide a framework for this discussion.

“Together we have an opportunity to recognise the extraordinary voyaging traditions and cultures of Te Moana Nui a Kiwa (the Pacific), the exceptional feats of Pacific voyagers, their mātauranga (knowledge), innovation and non-instrument navigation prowess and their decision to settle in Aotearoa before European explorers arrived. We will also acknowledge the feats of those European explorers and the technology they developed and mastered in crossing oceans to get here from Europe.

From October to December, the Tuia 250 Voyage will visit sites around Aotearoa New Zealand with significant cultural and historical importance to both Pacific and European voyaging.

The flotilla will arrive in Mercury Bay on Friday 18 October and will stay until Monday 21 October.


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