Tuia 250 ki Tūranga is about our people and our place - what brought us together, what challenges us, and how we weave our differences into a future we will be proud to leave our grand-children.

Join us on our monthly programme of history and story sharing.

Tuia 250 ki Tūranga actively explores the stories on land and at sea.
We will recognise and commemorate two extraordinary voyaging traditions and cultures –each with their legacies and technologies, opportunities and vulnerabilities.

But most importantly, Tuia 250 ki Tūranga will make room for conversations, some of them awkward, all of them vital to forging a shared future.

Tuia 250 Commemorations
in Tūranga / Gisborne

Between October 5 and 10, Tūranga is home to the nation’s official week-long commemorations programme and the launch of the Tuia 250 Voyage.

Tairāwhiti people get a second bite at this historic occasion with the arrival of the Tuia Flotilla at Opoutama, Tolaga Bay on 12th October where they will remain until the 16th October.

Join us as we recognise the extraordinary navigation traditions of Te Moananui a Kiwa – the feats of Pacific voyagers and the journey’s and navigational capabilities of early European explorers.

In our back yard you will find many opportunities to engage with the a nuanced, multifaceted, challenging story of the early encounters between Māori and Europeans – the views from the bay and the views from the shore – as we strive to bring to life our history in all its forms.

For those with a desire to understand the history of the country we live in, this is a rare moment in time to visit the places, take in the landscape, and let the stories unfold.


October 5 - Welcoming the Waka/Vaka Fleet
The first national Opening Ceremony of the Tuia 250 Voyage will be held at dawn. Join us as we welcome Tahitian Va’a Moana Faafaite and the Tahitian Voyaging Society, Waka Hourua Haunui and Te Toki Voyaging Trust and Waka Hourua Ngāhīraka and Te Kura Waka to our place & celebrate over a thousand years of the voyaging and navigation tradition.

October 6 - Explore the Waka Fleet
This is your chance to board the waka and va’a, meet the crews and learn more about ancient Pacific voyaging traditions. Find out how to build a star compass, learn more about celestial navigation and the importance of sustaining our oceans.

October 8 – Commemorating the arrival of Europeans to Aotearoa
The second national Opening Ceremony, commemorates the first arrival of the Endeavour in 1769 to Tūranganui-a-Kiwa and Aotearoa bringing with her the first Europeans to set foot on these islands. Heritage vessels will arrive at dawn and participate in a commemorative ceremony that acknowledges the lives lost in the very first encounters between Europeans and local iwi and re-sets the official historic record to include the voices of tangata whenua.

October 9 - Explore the Flotilla
Your opportunity to get up close and personal with the full complement of Tuia 250 voyaging vessels.
There’s a vessel for all interests – from the European heritage vessels to a fleet of waka and vaka.
This is your chance to board the flotilla, meet the crew and learn more about these impressive vessels. Find out how to build a star compass, learn more about celestial navigation and the importance of sustaining our oceans. And discover how these vessels navigated Te Moananui a Kiwa – the greatest ocean on the planet.

October 11 - Farewell
Find a great vantage point along the coastline from which to view and farewell the full flotilla as it leaves Tūranganui a Kiwa and makes its way to Uawa. You might have to be up extra early!

October 12 to Oct 16 - Tuia Flotilla are at Uawa/Tolaga Bay
If you miss the Flotilla in Tūranga/Gisborne you can catch them at Uawa over four great days while they are hosted by Te Aitanga a Hauiti and the wider community. You will be able to engage with the crews of the vessels and hear about an enduring relationship and knowledge exchange between Tahitian Star Navigator, Tupaia and the people of Uawa.

Be part of history. Join us for six epic days as we explore the extraordinary voyaging traditions and cultures of Te Moana Nui a Kiwa (the Pacific). Register now for the very latest updates.

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Tipuna Stories

Tipuna stories

Explore our Tipuna Stories.

Join TROTAK’s incredible story tellers as they share the story of Whirikoka and the legend of Mangataikapua oil springs, near Whatatutu.

Enjoy modern storytelling at its best!

Location:HB Williams Memorial Library Gisborne 34 Bright Street.

Times:11:00am, Saturday June 29th


Ticket prices:Free

Book nowBookings essential.

History on board NZ's oldest pilot vessel

MV Tākitimu

Tuia 250 9334

Nau mai, haere mai. Welcome aboard the MV Tākitimu.

Encounter the stories of our many arrivals as we explore places of personal, cultural, national and international significance around the Bay.

Join local historians Joe Martin and Shannon Matenga, who will take you on a fascinating journey of understanding, exploring 1,000 years of seafaring tradition and navigating history. Visit the place where Cook anchored the HM Bark Endeavour in 1769, where Te Toka a Taiau once stood, and where those first exchanges between the crew of the Endeavour and local Māori took place.

The MV Tākitimu offers a relaxed encounter with our history, on what is believed to be the oldest pilot vessel in New Zealand still in operation.

What you need to know:

  • All children must come with a responsible adult.
  • There will be a full health and safety briefing before we begin each session.

Please note:
This event is weather dependent. If deemed too rough, the trip will be canceled and full refunds given.

Location:Inner Harbour

Times:9:00am, 11:00am, Sunday July 7th

Ticket prices:$10 plus booking fee

Book soon

Open Day

Waka Hourua Tairawhiti


Join us on board te Waka Hourua 'Tairawhiti' and share the voyaging history of our ancestors.

Discover how historic waka were built... how our tipuna journeyed from Hawaiki using the moon, stars, currents and birds to navigate the Pacific.

Note, the waka will be moored in her berth in the inner harbour – this is not a sailing excursion.

Health & Safety (there will be a briefing before the tour)

  • No high-heels
  • No toilet facilities onboard
  • Smoking and alcohol in not permitted at the port at any time.
  • Please bring sunblock, sunhat, water.
  • All children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Unfortunately, at present there is no wheel chair access onto the waka.

Location:Inner Harbour

Times:1:00pm, Sunday June 30th

Ticket prices:$Free, but bookings via Eventfinda.

Book now


This year in 2019, New Zealand will mark 250 years since the first meetings between Māori and Europeans during James Cook and the Endeavour's 1769 voyage to Aotearoa New Zealand. In 2019, Aotearoa New Zealand will acknowledge 250 years since the first onshore meetings between Māori and Europeans. Tuia – Encounters 250 (Tuia 250) is the national commemoration that recognises this milestone in our history.. This is a time to share, debate and reflect – to enable a more balanced telling of our stories, so that we speak openly and respectfully about our history.