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Te Ha appointments made in build-up to Tuia 250

THE Te Ha Sestercentennial Trust will run the opening Tuia 250 ceremony in Gisborne in October next year, and it has announced some key appointments.

Former Maori Language Commission chief executive Glenis Philip Barbara has just been appointed general manager of the trust.

Musician Tama Waipara will be responsible for leading the development of a new festival of arts and culture here that will become an annual event on Gisborne’s calendar from 2019 onwards.

Experienced commemoration and festival organiser Briony Ellis is Te Ha’s commemorations programme director, and artist and singer Mere Boynton will be programme director.

A marketing and communications manager, administrator and an executive assistant were also appointed this week.

The Tuia 250 committee is coordinating commemorations around the country to mark the 250th anniversary of James Cook’s arrival in Aotearoa and the first meetings between Maori and Europeans.

Waka expert Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr has been appointed co-chair of the Tuia 250 committee.

Prime Minister and Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern says that along with co-chair Dame Jenny Shipley, he brings the right experience and mana to achieve Tuia 250’s aim to ensure 2019 commemoration reflects who we are today and how we navigate our future together.

It also acknowledges the extraordinary feats of Pacific voyagers who reached and settled in Aotearoa many years earlier.

Preparations for the commemoration are already well under way, led regionally by charitable trusts, iwi, hapu and local authorities in the four parts of New Zealand where Maori and Europeans first met: Gisborne, the Bay of Islands, Coromandel and Marlborough.

An early encounter between Maori and European. Wikipedia picture