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Tuia - Encounters 250


Dual Heritage Shared Future

The Tier 1 commemoration for 2019, Tuia - Encounters 250 will acknowledge the early meetings of Māori and Europeans when James Cook and Tahitian chief and navigator Tupaia arrived in 1769 - a pivotal moment in New Zealand history when two great traditions of voyaging and exploration (Pacific and European) met on and off the coast of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Tuia - Encounters 250 provides an important opportunity to foster an inclusive national identity through a heightened awareness and collective understanding of our dual heritage, our connections to the land and to each other and our potential as a nation in the future.

The commemoration aims to strengthen New Zealanders’ positive identification with our nation’s bicultural foundations, the value of indigeneity and mātauranga Māori and better understand New Zealand’s complex history of migration and settlement.

Events and legacy projects being planned will have positive social, cultural, ecological and economic impacts and will include ecological restoration, cultural and education initiatives and regional tourism development.

The commemoration has been given the Māori name, Tuia, central to the whakataukī below, meaning to weave together, symbolising bringing people together in unity.

A Māori man and Joseph Banks exchanging a crayfish for a piece of cloth, drawing by Tupaia, c. 1769. Source : Wikipedia


  • Dual Heritage, Shared Future – acknowledging and learning about our history in a way that allows us to move towards a rich shared future for ourselves, our children and grandchildren.
  • The meeting of two great voyaging traditions (Pacific and European)
  • 1000 years of Pacific voyaging and celestial navigation
  • Science, technology, innovation and mātauranga Māori
  • Creating legacies for all New Zealanders.

Key components of the commemoration

  • A national launch event in Gisborne/Tairāwhiti in October 2019
  • A centrepiece voyaging event taking place October to December 2019, to sail to sites of significance, activating regional events
  •  An education programme, to be developed with the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders
  • Events and legacy projects in the Endeavour’s original landing sites and othercentres
  • Exhibitions (to be confirmed)
  • Conferences (to be confirmed).

Who’s involved?

Manatū Taonga the Ministry for Culture and Heritage (MCH) is working in partnership with trusts established in four of the Endeavour’s original landing sites (listed below) to coordinate the national event for Tuia - Encounters 250 and to progress strong regional commemorative programmes.

Representatives of each trust and from Te Puni Kōkiri, Department of Conservation and the Ministry of Education are on the National Coordinating Committee, which is chaired by Dame Jenny Shipley. This group is responsible for connecting commemorative activity to ensure a cohesive and coordinated national programme.

MCH is also working on Tuia - Encounters 250 with iwi in the landing site regions and with a number of other government agencies, including Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand Defence Force, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Department of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Te Puni Kōkiri, Department of Conservation and the Ministry of Education.

First Encounters 250th Anniversary - NZ map

Totaranui 250 TrustTotaranui 250 TrustTe Au Mārie 1769 Sestercentennial TrustTe Au Mārie 1769 Sestercentennial TrustMercury Bay 250th Anniversary TrustMercury Bay 250th Anniversary TrustTe Hā 1769 Sestercentennial TrustTe Hā 1769 Sestercentennial Trust



~ TUIA ~


Kia whakarongo ake au I listen
Ki te tangi a te manu nei To the cry of the bird
A te Mātūī The Mātūī
“Tūī, tūī, tuituia” Calling “tūī, tūī, tuituia”
Tuia i runga That it be woven above
Tuia i raro As it is below
Tuia i waho Woven without
Tuia i roto As it is within
Tuia i te here tāngata Interwoven with the threads of humanity
Ka rongo te pō Felt in innocence
Ka rongo te ao And in consciousness
Tuia i te muka tāngata Intertwined with the threads of humankind
I takea mai i Hawaiki-Nui Born from Great-Hawaiki
I Hawaiki-Roa, i Hawaiki-Pāmamao From Far-Hawaiki, from Long-Distant-Hawaiki
Oti rā me ērā atu anō Hawaiki And hence all other Hawaiki
Te hono a wairua The merging of spirits
Whakaputa ki Te Whaiao Out in to the World of Light
Ki Te Ao Mārama Life, knowledge, and illumination
Tihe mauri ora! Sneeze oh living spirit, dynamic life-force, life-principle!


Updated on 18th December 2017