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Tall ships and waka to enter bay together

The Tairawhiti community is expected out in force again tomorrow to welcome the waka, va’a and tall ships as the Tuia 250 ki Turanga commemorations continue, organisers say.

Following the arrival of the Te Moananui Flotilla on Saturday, Tuesday will see the coming together of the two fleets, with the waka, va’a and tall ships entering the bay as one, before again honouring significant sites of tipuna. The vessels will come along the city beachfront where thousands of expected viewers can enjoy a shared breakfast between 8am-10am.

The tall ships will berth in the harbour area where crews will disembark for a dual-heritage welcome, before heading to a private civic ceremony hosted by Gisborne Mayor Rehette Stoltz.

Te Ha Trust general manager Glenis Philip-Barbara said the gathering of everyone at the beach was part of the manaakitanga practice of the local community.

She was also keen to have people share the hosted breakfast and enjoy the spectacle of two voyaging traditions coming together on the water.

“There are loads of fun activities and entertainment for kids of all ages right along the Oneroa Walkway.”

The entire event will be live-streamed through a three-hour multi-cast “Turanga ki Uta” by Turanga FM. Produced by Tina Wickliffe and hosted by locals Matai Smith and Ruth Smith, the bilingual multi-cast will also include senior TVNZ Te Karere reporter Irena Smith along with iwi and community leaders, artists and tangata whenua navigators.

The live-stream can be followed via the Turanga FM Media Facebook page, on Turanga’s three channels — 91.7FM, 95.7FM and 98.1FM — and through the iHeart Radio app.

Mr Smith said it was a very special broadcast to be part of.

“I reflect of my own upbringing in Gisborne and this is a time to enlighten and educate our people on our local iwi stories,” he said.

“For some of us, this is an awkward conversation to have. But everyone has their own take on things, so we want to open the conversation here. I am ever the optimist and I want to acknowledge the wrongs of the past, but let’s not get stuck in it. This is an opportunity to further educate the next generation.

“It makes you reflect on this district and the rich history and culture we have, and gives you more appreciation of the leaders who fought for us. Getting my head around that has been a journey and one that will continue with me. It all adds to the fabric of me being tangata whenua here in Gisborne.”