Skip to main content

Huge interest in Tuia 250 Voyage Trainee berths

Media release: 11 July 2019

New Zealanders have jumped at the chance to apply for a free trainee berth aboard vessels that form the flotilla in the Tuia 250 Voyage, oversubscribing available spaces by more than three times, says Tuia 250 National Coordinating Committee Co-Chair Dame Jenny Shipley.

The Join the Journey campaign gave 450 lucky New Zealanders the chance to sail aboard a waka hourua, va’a tipaerua or a heritage sailing ship navigating New Zealand waters in October to December, in voyage legs ranging from one day to two weeks. 

The trainee berths were available to New Zealanders 16 and over, as well as Year 10 students nominated by their schools, in the recent three-week Join the Journey application period.
There were close to 1,200 registrations for the 230 trainee berths on the youth ship Spirit of New Zealand – a significant oversubscription. There were also 320 applications received for the 220 trainee berths for New Zealanders aged 18 and over.

Dame Jenny Shipley is thrilled that the opportunity to help crew on the vessels has attracted so many young people in particular.
“The trainee berths are a unique opportunity to experience first-hand what arrivals to New Zealand might have been like for the peoples of the Pacific over some 1,000 years of voyaging heritage, and the crew of the Endeavour from Britain in 1769,” says Dame Jenny Shipley.
“So many young New Zealanders have registered their interest in being a part of the Tuia 250 Voyage. This is heartening, because they will learn, share and understand the stories of those times from both perspectives, and the future of this country will soon enough be in their hands.”
Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr, fellow Tuia 250 National Coordinating Committee Co-Chair, agrees: “In traditional Pacific voyaging, the process of training to be a master navigator started in childhood. So it is fantastic that so many teenagers want to join the Tuia 250 Flotilla. We cannot take all the applicants unfortunately, but we know the ones who do sail will communicate with their friends, whānau and the New Zealand public to help them all share in this extraordinary experience.
“The Tuia 250 Voyage is a symbolic journey for Aotearoa,” he says. “It is the key event in 2019 as we celebrate New Zealand’s thousand-year Pacific voyaging heritage, and commemorate 250 years since the first onshore meetings between Māori and Pākehā in 1769.”
Registrations for the Join the Journey waitlist are still open at:

Updated on 15th January 2020