Commemoration events will be happening all across the country between October and December 2019, and there will be lots of opportunities for people to get involved.

Exact details of the commemoration programme are still under development and announcements will be made once these are finalised.

The planned core elements of the national programme are:

  • A national voyage of historic and contemporary vessels will travel to sites of significance for Pacific, Māori and European voyaging
  • An opening ceremony to be held in Gisborne in October 2019
  • A national education programme and resources for schools
  • Public outreach and information.

Specific regional commemorations are being developed and delivered by four charitable trusts in the four parts of Aotearoa New Zealand where Māori and Europeans first met during the 1769 voyage.

The potential of the commemoration has long been recognised by the trusts, with the first being established in 2013. The Trusts are the main drivers of the regional commemoration planning and activity.

First Encounters 250th Anniversary - NZ map


Events and legacy projects being planned will have positive social, cultural, ecological and economic impacts and will include ecological restoration, cultural and education initiatives and regional tourism development.

Details of each Trust’s commemoration planning can be found at their websites.

The above video outines Te Hā's strategic vision - a meeting of peoples, a mixing of cultures, a blending of heritage, a sharing of future.

The Ministry’s involvement in Tuia - Encounters 250

Manatū Taonga the Ministry for Culture and Heritage is the lead Government agency responsible and is working in partnership with the four charitable trusts, iwi, and local and central government agencies.

Representatives of each Trust and from Te Puni Kōkiri, Department of Conservation and the Ministry of Education are on the National Coordinating Committee, which is co-chaired by Dame Jenny Shipley and Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr. This group is responsible for connecting commemorative activity regionally and nationally to ensure a cohesive and coordinated programme.

Updated on 28th February 2018