Skip to main content

City of Sails welcomes Tuia 250 flotilla

Media release: 24 October 2019

A big weekend of festivities is planned for the Tuia 250 ki Tāmaki Makaurau events as the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla arrives in Auckland.

“Everyone is invited to the Tuia 250 events at and around the Auckland Viaduct this long weekend,” says Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage Chief Executive Bernadette Cavanagh.

“The waka hourua and tall ships will arrive into a city that is globally recognised for its maritime events but is also a place with rich voyaging heritage. Ancestral waka came to Tāmaki and nearby areas in the early migrations from Polynesia.

“Today, the Viaduct is a hub of maritime activity and is home to two vessels in the Tuia 250 flotilla – waka Haunui and youth ship Spirit of New Zealand.

“Auckland has our largest Polynesian population, and Pacific voyaging is a large part of our heritage so I’m glad that we can share the experience with everyone here.

“Bring the whanau, come down and visit the waka hourua and tall ships from 10am on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

“A big thank you to hosts Auckland Council, New Zealand Maritime Museum, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and the Auckland War Memorial Museum who have put on an awesome programme of events while the Flotilla is in town – including pōwhiri, live performances, kai and public talks,” says Ms Cavanagh.

Tuia 250: This is who we are

Tuia 250 National Coordinating Co-Chairs Dame Jenny Shipley and Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr are looking forward to the Flotilla sailing into Auckland Harbour to remind each New Zealander of where they came from and to challenge us all to think about where the country is heading together.

“Tuia 250 kicked off with a spectacular start in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa Gisborne, where voyaging traditions showcased a thousand years of maritime heritage, and sparked conversations about our shared histories and national identity,” says Dame Jenny.

“The programme then highlighted the celebration of Tupaia’s role when the Flotilla arrived in Ūawa Tolaga Bay hosted by Te Aitanga a Hauiti. The Flotilla then entered Mercury Bay, where Ngati Hei shared their stories including the events that unfolded when Chief Toawaka met James Cook, giving the crew the first known pōwhiri for Pākehā.

“Earlier this week the flotilla crew and trainees were welcomed to Umupuia Marae at Maraetai, an ancient landing site. South Auckland schools and local kura enjoyed learning about Pacific voyaging.

“Now the vessels will come into Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. We invite everyone to enjoy the heritage parade of the six vessels that make up the Tuia 250 Flotilla – waka and tall ships alike.”

Hoturoa Barclay Kerr says: “Tuia 250 invites us all to walk in the shoes of Kupe and Cook. Let’s see new understandings about our respective histories, honestly confront encounters good and bad, and think about how we are bound together as we voyage forward, making Aotearoa a place we can all be proud of.”

Supporting the Tuia 250 events is the Ministry of Education’s Tuia Mātauranga Roadshow, a visual and interactive experience that showcases the histories and dual heritage of Aotearoa. It includes content featuring traditional voyaging and navigation techniques, settlement of New Zealand, some of the challenges facing us today, and opportunities for communities to have a say about what a shared future could look like.

All are welcome

The Flotilla will sail past the northern end of Queens Wharf on Friday 25 October at around 12pm. A haka powhiri will be held at 2pm at the Eastern Viaduct. Everyone is welcome to enjoy and observe this event.

Events in Auckland - Come along to all the events over the long weekend as part of Tuia 250 ki Tāmaki Makaurau. A programme is available online:
Events everywhere - For the three-month national Tuia 250 programme following the Flotilla around the country, find an event near you on
Track the Voyage – Track virtual replicas of the flotilla vessels using real-time GPS technology, available on the Tuia 250 website:
Learn – Educational resources, including apps for Pacific voyaging content in the Tuia Matauranga Roadshow: Watch videos telling the story of Pacific navigation on Land of Voyagers:

Updated on 15th January 2020