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Historic pōwhiri to take place at 1pm tomorrow, Friday 18

Media release: 17 October 2019

There’s a unique historic significance to the pōwhiri that will take place at 1pm tomorrow, Friday 18 October, at Wharetāewa Pā in Te Whanganui-o-Hei / Mercury Bay.

The pōwhiri, which will see local iwi Ngāti Hei welcome guests including crew from the Endeavour replica and other vessels in the Tuia 250 Voyage, will acknowledge what’s believed to be the first ever pōwhiri accorded to Europeans in the same spot 250 years ago.

Joe Davis, of Ngāti Iwi, says his people welcomed the original Endeavour crew with a “great sense of intrigue”, and stories of the encounters that took place over almost two weeks in 1769 will figure prominently in events happening in Te Whanganui-o-Hei / Mercury Bay over the coming days.

A hikoi along the beautiful Wharekaho beach will take place before the pōwhiri, tracing the footsteps that Cook, Tupaia and the Endeavour crew themselves took along the foreshore 250 years ago.

Please note that some details/dates have changed since our advisory earlier this week.

Because of adverse weather en route, waka in the Voyage flotilla are now not expected to make it to Wharekaho Beach ahead of the pōwhiri, as originally planned. This means public tours of the waka are also unlikely to go ahead. Check facebook for any further updates.

However, other events are unaffected. On Saturday 19 October, a free 12-hour cultural showcase – The Tuia Stage – will take place at Whakau Reserve/Taylor’s Mistake from 10am, featuring featuring music, poetry and story-telling.

Updated on 8th October 2021