Waka against a starry sky

Tuia – Encounters 250 commemorated 250 years since the first onshore meetings between Māori and Pākehā in 1769–70. It also celebrated the voyaging heritage of Pacific people that led to the settlement of Aotearoa New Zealand many generations before. Use the links below to learn more about these aspects of our history, as well as to access educational resources for teachers and parents.

Our Te Moananui a Kiwa (Pacific) voyaging heritage

Encounters in 1769

Learning for children Includes the Tuia Mātauranga education programme

Stories from Land of Voyagers

Our Te Moananui a Kiwa (Pacific) voyaging heritage

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He Oriori Mō Te Hourua

A genealogical – geographical song for waka hourua written and transcribed by Dr Wayne Ngata (PDF).

Image of Lapita pottery

Pacific migrations

Discover the history of Pacific migrations from ancient times until the first people arrived in Aotearoa on Te Ara.

Image of a waka

Kupe – voyaging by the stars

Watch this documentary about Sir Hekenukumai Busby’s project to retrace Kupe’s course across the Pacific.

Waka hourua sailing in harbour

Encounters – Pacific voyaging

The NZHistory website explores the history of voyaging and discovery in Te Moananui (the Pacific).

Model of traditional waka


Award-winning website from iwi of Turanganui-a-Kiwa (Gisborne) about their ancestors’ voyaging and arrival stories.

Man next to carving a prow

Wayfinding revival

Learn about how people navigated without instruments on the NZ Science Learning Hub website.

Image of an island

Te Haerenga o Kupe

Follow Kupe’s journey around Aotearoa and connect to the places he visited in this online exhibition.

Encounters in 1769–70

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First Encounters

An essay by historian Dame Anne Salmond about Pacific exploration and discovery from pre-human times to Cook (PDF).

Painting by Tupaia

Encounters in 1769

Learn about the first meetings and encounters between Māori and Pākehā on the NZHistory website.

Map with place infomration

Cook’s place names

Land and Information NZ’s webpage that tells the story of 30 place names around Aotearoa associated with Cook.

Early map

European voyaging

A history of European voyaging and discovery in Aotearoa on the Te Ara website.

Early map

Everyday life 1769

What was life like in Aotearoa before Captain Cook reached these shores? Immerse yourself in the everyday world of Māori.

Learning for children

The Ministry of Education is delivering the Tuia Mātauranga 2019 education programme to support teaching and learning, highlighting people, places and events that have contributed to the rich history of Aotearoa New Zealand. The programme is aimed at inspiring children and young people, with their parents and whānau, to know their own stories of whakapapa and identity, and to explore facts from the past that have shaped their country and community.

Tuia Mātauranga logo

Tuia Mātauranga 2019

Explore the Ministry of Education’s Tuia 250 national programme for all young learners.

Curiosity card of Māori carved poles

Curiosity Cards

Curiosity Cards, available from the  National Library website, help spark student inquiry about Tuia 250 topics.

Stories from Land of Voyagers

This series of short videos was developed for the Land of Voyagers website, a Tuia 250 project by Taylormade Media.

Traditional waka

Migration: The untold story

Video about the voyage of discovery undertaken over 4,000 years ago by our Polynesian tupuna.

Image of the stars at night

Star compass

How does a star compass help navigators find, and keep their direction on the waka hourua?

Birds in the sky

Birds and navigation

How did the ancient navigators know there was land south of Polynesia? Birds!

Man and younger woman on beach


How do navigators find their way across the Pacific with no European instruments?

Waka hourua from above

Brains and gizmos

There are two types of technology on the waka hourua, the brains of the navigators and the tracking gizmos.

Wahine next to migration painting


The real story behind The arrival of the Maoris in New Zealand.

Drawing of the head of Tupaia

Tupaia – Master Navigator

The life of the Tahitian navigator and high priest who travelled to Aotearoa on the Endeavour.

The Endeavour at sea

HMB Endeavour: Sydney to Tauranga

A glimpse at life onboard the HMB Endeavour as it set off to join the Tuia 250 flotilla.

Onboard a waka hourua

Waka Hourua: High Tech Travel

An entertaining look at how waka hourua allowed Noe’s Polynesian ancestors to travel huge distances across the Pacific.

Stones laid out on a beach

The Navigator Prepares

Noe introduces us to the ways the Master Navigator prepares and how you go to the next level.

Stones laid out on a beach

The waka is my island

The logistics behind life on board the Fa'afaite.


Te Au Mārie 1769 Sestercentennial Trust  logo Mercury 250 Trust logo Tōtaranui 250 Trust  logo Te Hā 1769 Sestercentennial Trust logo
Te Toki Voyaging Trust logo Australian National Maritime Museum logo R. Tucker Thompson Sail Training Trust  logo Tahiti Voyaging Society  logo Spirit of Adventure Trust logo Te Kura o ngā Kurī a Tarawhata logo


Whangaparaoa/Cape Runaway | Anaura Bay | Tūranga/Gisborne | Ūawa/Tolaga Bay | Whitianga/Mercury Bay | Maraetai | Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland

Whangārei/Port Nikau | Pēwhairangi/Bay of Islands/Opua | Waitohi/Picton | Wairau Te  Waiharakeke/Blenheim | Te Whanganui-a-Tara/Wellington | Whakaraupō/Lyttelton | Te Māhia

Contact the Tuia 250 team:
[email protected]
Contact for media enquiries:
[email protected] | 027 622 0468
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