Skip to main content

Pūrongo A Tuia 250 / Tuia 250 report

Tuia – Encounters 250 was a commemoration in 2019 marking 250 years since the first onshore encounters between Māori and Pākehā in 1769. Tuia 250 celebrated Aotearoa New Zealand’s Pacific voyaging heritage and was a national opportunity to hold honest conversations about the past, the present and how we navigate our shared future.

Read the full report now:



Tirohanga Whānui Nga Tatauranga Hira / Key statistics

  • More than 64,000 people took part in the Tuia 250 Voyage events. 
  • 28.4 million people cumulatively were exposed to Tuia 250 coverage in the media
  • The vessels were visited more than 40,000 times by the public during Open Days
  • More than 500 trainees experienced life on board a tall ship or waka hourua         
  • More than 400 crew of waka hourua, va’a, tall ships and Navy vessels participated
  • 12,950 nautical miles sailed by the six Tuia 250 flotilla vessels, with at least 45 days at sea
  • Over 3,500 kilometres driven by land crew supporting the vessels 
  • 15 waka, ships and Navy vessels were part of the flotilla or welcomes       
  • More than 70 kōhatu, or mauri stones from Tahiti and Haunui crew were gifted to sites of significance to Pacific voyaging around Aotearoa

He aha te mea whakatutukihia e Tuia 250? /  What did Tuia 250 achieve?

  • Community engagement with Tuia 250 was overwhelmingly positive. The work of communities was crucial for the Tuia 250 experience to be positive overall. 
  • The Tuia 250 Voyage was developed and delivered safely and successfully for all communities, vessels, crew, trainees and members of the public who were involved.
  • Tuia 250 highlighted the feats of voyagers of the ancestors of Pacific peoples as well as James Cook, particularly through media coverage, including international media coverage, and in education. 
  • Tuia 250 highlighted dual heritage and Aotearoa New Zealand’s unique identity through local wānanga, education and resources that particularly helped New Zealanders understand migration.
  • Tuia 250 encouraged open conversation and dialogue on marae, in schools and in communities, acknowledging the subsequent effect of Cook’s arrival on Māori in particular. 
  • Tuia 250 supported a number of initiatives for rangatahi to better understand New Zealand history and their heritage.

Ngā wheako o ngā pia / Watch Tuia 250 Trainees share their experiences

The Tuia 250 Trainee programme provided 517 people a once-in-a-lifetime voyage aboard a tall ship or waka hourua for New Zealanders who met the criteria. Trainees mucked in and learned about sailing, voyaging and navigation, and also participated in onshore cultural events.

Vance Steel - Tuia 250 trainee

Vance Steel, Rēkohu Chatham Islands - Haunui trainee

“It’s meant a lot to me because I feel like I’ve represented Rekohu and over the last two years I managed to solve a bit of a gap in my whakapapa, so it means a lot for me and my whakapapa. 

Watch his video on the Te Toki Facebook page

Tania Gordon, Ngāti Porou - Haunui trainee

“It’s been an awesome experience, just meeting the people, being able to connect with the Tahitian waka as well and our Ngahiraka whanau.”

Watch her experience on the Te Toki Facebook page

Pepe Sapolu-Reweti Tuia 250 trainee

Pepe Sapolu-Reweti, of Samoan Tahitian descent - Haunui trainee

“I really got so much from this Voyage, mostly just being with the whanau and thinking about my ancestors that did this voyage also.”

Watch her experience on the Te Toki Facebook page

Manaakiao Maxwell (Ngati Porou) and Meriana Johnsen (Kai Tahu, Rangitane ki Wairau, Ngati Pākeha) - Haunui trainees

“The best part of this haerenga to me was definitely learning how to do everything…Oh, there was some mean feeds, and beautiful sky, all the stars had come out.”

Watch this video on the Te Toki Facebook page


Taonga tuku / Legacy

The Tuia 250 commemoration has left a legacy for future generations.

The legacy has been created through voyaging and encounters education and conversations that took place during the commemoration, through new physical markers and signage at sites of significance, through the changing of place names to reflect dual heritage, and through the healing that has occurred in communities and the strengthening of relationships. Find out more on the Tuia 250 website.

Updated on 22nd December 2020