Tuia 250 Communication

What is Tuia 250?

Tuia 250 is a national commemoration marking the arrival of the Endeavour and the first encounters between Pakeha and Maori. It aims to encourage discussions and reflections around New Zealand's dual heritage and shared future and also recognises the voyaging feats of both Pacific and European explorers. For Te Whanganui o Hei | Mercury Bay, this meant the first amicable meeting including Pōwhiri that the crew from HM Bark Endeavour experienced, courtesy of the local iwi Ngāti Hei.

What is going on?

There are multiple events encompassed under the Tuia 250 flag which began in March this year and run through till the start of 2020. The main events in Te Whanganui o Hei Mercury Bay are the Powhiri at Wharekaho on Friday 18th October, the Tuia Stage at Whakau Reserve/Taylor's Mistake) on Saturday 19th October and a Community Engagement program being held on the Northern Reclamation area next to the marina on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th October.

There will be a flotilla of waka and sailing ships entering the bay area on Friday the 18th and remaining until Sunday 20th. It consists of two waka hourua (double hulled canoes), a va'a from Tahiti, the  replica HMB Endeavour, R Tucker Thompson heritage ship and the Spirit of New Zealand.

Te Pōwhiri – Fri 18th Oct – Wharekaho

A hugely significant event and the key ceremony for Te Pōwhiri  - the Pōwhiri - will take place at Wharekaho. Te Pōwhiri is to acknowledge and commemorate the first friendly encounter between Ngāti Hei and Endeavour crew 250 years ago.

This will be a family-friendly, alcohol-free zone for all members of the public to come along to and view the proceedings FREE of charge. (**see below for details on transport to Wharekaho).

A Ngāti Hei representative will provide narration explaining the proceedings of the Pōwhiri along with snippets of historical information. At 11:30am the manuhiri (voyagers, community members, dignitaries, visitors to the area), will gather at the north end and begin the 1.2km hīkoi along the foreshore onto Ngāti Hei land at the south end of Wharekaho Beach, where manuhiri (visitors) will take part in the traditional Māori ceremony of welcome, Pōwhiri. The pōwhiri will be lead by a senior kapa haka group, with support from students of local schools inCoromandel, local community and Ngāti hei descendants. Members of the general public are welcome to join the hīkoi, however, access to the Ngāti Hei land and participation in the Pōwhiri is restricted to guests who have registered prior to the event due to limited numbers. (Registration for this event will be opening soon. Please follow our Facebook page for updates or subscribe to our newsletter through our website

10am – Tuia 250 Flotilla arrive in Wharekaho and the crew begin to disembark

11am – All guests gather on beach

11:30am – Hīkoi from North end of beach to Marae grounds begins

1pm – Pōwhiri begins

2pm – Hāngi served

3-5pm – Entertainment


If you are attending the pōwhiri or taking part in the hīkoi please wear appropriate footwear for the beach and the land. Also please dress appropriately to the weather on the day and refrain from bringing umbrellas. This event will be going ahead rain or shine and cover will not always be available.

There will be an exclusion zone in place in Wharekaho Bay for all other vessels and no beaching of the vessels except the waka will be allowed (Friday 18th October only).

 **Free parking will be available at Buffalo Beach Reserve, Whitianga. There will be NO PARKING available anywhere in Wharekaho and the side roads will be closed to the public on this day.

Free shuttle buses will be running all day from Buffalo Beach Reserve, Whitianga to Wharekaho.

9am to 12pm - Buffalo Beach Reserve to Simpson's Campground (Northern end of beach)

12pm to 6pm - Buffalo Beach Reserve to Joseph Road (approx halfway along Wharekaho Beach)


Tuia Stage – Sat 19th Oct – Whakau Reserve (Taylor’s Mistake) 

10am - 10pm

Creative Mercury Bay presents The Tuia Stage is an epic 12 hour free cultural showcase featuring the very best that the Coromandel has to offer in local talent - musicians, poets, composers and performers. Artists have been invited to choose existing compositions of music, poetry or stories - or to create new ones - which reflect their expressions (their lived experiences) of the kaupapa of Tuia – Encounters 250.

Raranga Taura here Community Arts Project ‘Star Waka’ - 19th & 20th October - Whakau Reserve (Taylor’s Mistake)

Ngā Turu o te Tara - Weaving Collective present Raranga Taura Here Star Waka, a contemporary raranga exhibition, demonstration and wānanga. An event that will target children and families. The community will be invited to take part by making stars from bracken, harakeke, ice cream sticks and wool. These will be suspended in the marquee, the community will also have the opportunity to attach bundles of feathers to the frame of the waka. Following the poetry reading, the community will be invited to come and receive stars. The notion being you give away the first thing you make and receives someone else as a gift to take home.

Community Engagement – Sat 19th & Sun 20th Oct – Marine Reserve, Whitianga

The community engagement will happen between 10am-4pm on the 19th and 20th October.

  • Ministry of Education Roadshow truck
  • Star Dome which supplied SMART Trust
  • Engagement with the Waka Hourua
  • Presentations from the Spirit of NZ
  • Exhibition Boards from R. Tucker Thompson


Cooks Beach Events

Cooks Beach “Beach Call” Fri 18th Oct - 8am - 930am - Central Reserve, Cooks



Pop down to the beach at  Central Reserve to watch the heritage ships, endeavour and waka sail pass.

Conversations Fri 18 Oct - 7:30pm - Cooks Beach Hall, 882 Purangi Road, Cooks Beach.

A Community evening social event,  with “Conversations” by guest speakers, acclaimed author Graeme Lay and spokesperson of Ngāti Hei Joe Davis, talking in detail with John Steele about Cooks 12 Days in Mercury Bay. Limited tickets available from Richardsons Real Estate, Cooks Beach.

Celebrating Heritage Sat 19 Oct - 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, Cooks Beach Hall, 882 Purangi Road, Cooks Beach.

Public screening of the “12 Days” DVD. Screening runs for 35 mins, with a representative form Mercury Bay Museum to answer questions.

Purangi Heritage project Sun 20 Oct - Pūrangi Heritage Project

Rededication and opening ceremony for the Purangi Heritage Project.
Transit of Mercury cairn reinstatement with bronze sextant sculpture. Endeavour buoy placed. Heritage signage for the Pūrangi – area installed and observation platform, walkways and signage by Perpetual Guardian Trust at Stella Evered Reserve.


MBAS Newsletter, Term 3, Week 9, 20 September 2019
MBAS Newsletter, Term 3, Week 8, 13th September

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