All set for Tuia 250 Voyage
The six core vessels that will sail into Gisborne waters as part of the Tuia - Encounters 250 national commemoration in October have been announced.
The flotilla will include two waka hourua (double-hulled canoes), a va’a moana from Tahiti, two heritage ships and one youth ship, says Ministry for Culture and Heritage (MCH) chief executive Bernadette Cavanagh.
“The waka hourua are Haunui from Auckland, and Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti from Tauranga. The va’a moana is Fa’afaite i te Ao Ma’ohi and joins the flotilla from Pape’ete, Tahiti.”
The HMB Endeavour replica from Sydney’s Australian National Maritime Museum, the Spirit of New Zealand and the R. Tucker Thompson from the Bay of Islands will also be part of the flotilla.
This is an opportunity to recognise the voyaging traditions and skills of Pacific voyagers, says Ms Cavanagh.
“We will also acknowledge the feats of those European explorers and the technology they developed and mastered in crossing oceans to get here from Europe.”
The Tuia 250 Voyage’s first national opening ceremony will be held at dawn on October 5 in Gisborne.
Two national opening ceremonies will be held here. The first will celebrate 1000 years of the Pacific voyaging tradition. This event will acknowledge Kupe, the great fleets and other Pacific voyagers.
Held on October 8, the second ceremony will commemorate the arrival of the Endeavour in 1769 and acknowledge first onshore encounters.
Ministers and dignitaries will be present at both events.
From October 12-16 the flotilla will sail to Tolaga Bay, where a beacon will guide the vessels into Cooks Cove (Opoutama).
Much of this visit will focus on Tupaia, the Ra’iatean navigator and arioi (a kind of priest) who joined British explorer James Cook’s voyage from Tahiti to New Zealand.
The presence of the flotilla in this region will create a platform for sharing many stories, says Te Ha Sestercentennial Trust general manager Glenis Philip-Barbara.
Its arrival coincides with the October school holidays, so the trust will facilitate lots of opportunities for families to experience activities brought by MCH and the flotilla.
“The ability to engage with crews, to explore traditional waka, vaka and historic vessels, to learn about traditional navigation from some of the best practitioners in the world, and engage with crews vastly experienced in working with youth and families, will be a great opportunity for many.”
Just as important would be “structured opportunities to experience the multiple stories of our region”.
“We’ll be utilising our heritage trails and sites of significance, our own waka, our connecting waterways and walkways, heritage trails and monuments to ensure our community will have plenty of opportunity to explore the multiple stories of arrival in Turanga.
“And when we consider that we can experience this all again in Uawa/Tolaga Bay some days later — to soak up the atmosphere and learn the stories of Tupaia unique to that community — this region will build a nuanced, rich and rewarding experience for all those interested in a deeper and more honest interpretation of the history of our region and indeed our nation.”
Ms Philip-Barbara said they had seen the “monumental effort” put in by the MCH team in creating a voyage of national significance, and congratulated them on reaching this milestone.
From October to December, the Tuia 250 Voyage will visit sites of cultural and historical significance around New Zealand.
Live coverage on TVNZ 1 and Maori Television of the Tuia 250 ki Turanga festival, presented by John Campbell and Stacey Morrison, will focus on the arrival of a flotilla of vessels in Gisborne.
“NZ On Air is proud to be supporting projects that will encourage New Zealanders to reflect on and discuss our dual-heritage and voyaging traditions,” said NZ On Air chief executive Jane Wrightson.