Activities to mark the commemoration will be happening all over New Zealand and there will be plenty of opportunities to be involved. 

Lottery Tuia – Encounters 250 Fund

$9 million is available for community projects that align with the kaupapa of Tuia – Encounters 250.

The Lottery Environment and Heritage Fund, administered by the Department of Internal Affairs, is now taking applications for funding.

Lottery Tuia – Encounters 250 grants are available for projects that will enable events, activities and legacy projects that connect and build New Zealanders’ understanding of the key themes of the commemoration including:

  • New Zealand’s dual heritage and shared future
  • the first meetings between Māori and Europeans across the country and their impact on contemporary society
  • the arts, science, technology and mātauranga of two great voyaging traditions
  • whakapapa and identity

Applications will be accepted throughout the year, until the total amount has been allocated, or until mid-2019.  

Further information about the Lottery Tuia – Encounters 250 fund and all eligibility criteria can be found at

There are also a number national and international lead-up events that are connected to the Tuia 250 commemorations that you can be involved in.

Contact us at


Te Matatini Ki Te Ao - Kapa Haka Festival Wellington - 20 – 24 February 2019 

Te Matatini 2019 will be held at Wellington's Westpac Stadium and is expected to attract 65,000 people. The festival theme ‘Te Matatini ki te Ao’ is an embodiment of the aspirations and dreams of the festival hosts Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Te Atiawa me ngā iwi o Taranaki whānui. The festival started in 1972, is in its 46th year and tickets can be purchased through the Te Matatini website.

Past Events

Royal Academy exhibition - Oceania - 29 September – 10 December 2018

The Oceania exhibtion in London brought together around 200 artworks and taonga from public collections worldwide, spanning over 500 years. From shell, greenstone and ceramic ornaments, to huge canoes and stunning god images, the Royal Academy exhibtion explored important themes of voyaging, place making and encounter.

The show attracted a huge amount of media interest, garnering five-star reviews from The Telegraph and Guardian newspapers. The opening of the exhibition was marked with a procession of around 80 people who made their way up Piccadilly displaying the colours and sounds of the Pacific and New Zealand to early morning London commuters. Entry to the exhibtion was free to New Zealand and Pacific Island passport holders.

British Library exhibition - James Cook: The Voyages - 27 Apr – 28 Aug 2018

The British Library ran an exhibition on Captain James Cook’s three pacific voyages. Maps, artworks and journals from the voyages sit alongside newly-commissioned films offering contemporary perspectives. 

Drawings by the Polynesian high priest and navigator Tupaia, who accompanied Cook to New Zealand and Australia, were displayed together for the first time.

Visit James Cook: The Voyages website for a range of different perspectives on the voyages and their legacy and impact. These include responses from people of the communities Cook encountered, documented and learned from.

Whangarei Sculpture Symposium, 12-22 March 2018

The Whangarei Sculpture Symposium is a unique event held in Northland. The 2018 event ran from 12 March until 22 March once again on Hihiaua Peninsular.  This is a popular event for the Whangarei community and was open to the public every day from 12 March until the public auction on the 22nd of March.

For 2018, artists were invited to create a form that relates to ‘Journey’. Based on first encounters, exploring and navigating. This year also inspired by the Sestercentennial 250th anniversary of the voyage of the Endeavour captained by Lieutenant James Cook, which commemorates his exploration of our coast.  More details are available on Creative Northland's website.

Rediscovering Cook’s visit to the Bay, 17 March 2018

History lovers are getting a jump start on Tuia – Encounters 250 commemorations with a day sailing and exploring sites from Lt Cook’s visit to the Bay of Islands 249 years ago.

The day sail was on March 17th on the tall ship, R. Tucker Thompson, following a map of the parts of the Bay of Islands Cook and his crew explored. The trip was organised by Heritage Northland Inc, in partnership with Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. More details are here.

A Waka Odyssey, 23-28 February 2018

A Waka Odyssey trailer, part of the New Zealand Festival 2018 programme. 

Designed to honour and celebrate our shared voyaging history, A Waka Odyssey was a series of events over five days, beginning with an opening night theatrical spectacle on 23 February to honour the legacy of famous Pacific explorer, Kupe. The choreographed movements of seven waka hourua, eight waka taua, and a fleet of waka ama brought the harbour to life; while on land actors, choirs and kapa haka groups welcomed the voyagers to the Capital. A 1000-strong new haka for Wellington was performed with a full musical score composed by New Zealand music icon Warren Maxwell.

NZ Festival - A Waka Odyssey website

Thousands gather on Wellington’s Waterfront for Kupe

Te Pou Kara, 01 February 2018

Courtesy of Te Hiku Media view a video about the ceremony commemorating the anniversary of the flagstaff (pou kara) in Kororāreka Russell.  Among the guests was the Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy – the first crown representative to officially acknowledge the pou kara at Maiki Hill in its 160 year history.

The 95 foot Pou Kara named Whakakotahitanga-o-nga-iwi-e-rua,was erected in Kororareka on Maiki hill under the direction of Maihi Kawiti in January 1858. Governor Gore Browne attended a hui in Kororareka Russell the week before and was invited to attend the erection of the new pou. However Browne's officials advised him not to attend the ceremony as they still feared the intentions of northern Māori. A commemoration anniversary of the pou kara acknowledges the significance of the flagstaff, which represents the challenge to maintain the spirit of Tiriti and partnership - for all in Tai Tokerau and the whole of Aotearoa.

View another Te Hiku Media clip in which Te Warahi Hetaraka gives us a korero on the tupuna that were present the day the Pou was erected 160 years ago.


Updated on 14th January 2019