Tuia 250 ki Tūranga is about people and place, what brought us together, what challenges us still, and how we are weaving our differing cultures and values into a future we will be proud to leave for our grand-children.

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 - Encounters
Commemorations Programme,
October 5 – 10, 2019

As we head towards the Tuia 250 National Commemorations in October 2019, Tuia 250 ki Turanga presents a series of events developed and designed in collaboration with our community.

These events will encourage us to explore the multiple histories of our region through art, korero, wananga, sailing, karakia and good old fashioned manaakitanga. Everyone is welcome!

The Regional & National Commemoration Programme PDF


This October, New Zealand will acknowledge 250 years since the first onshore meetings between Māori and Europeans with a national commemoration called Tuia – Encounters 250 (Tuia 250).

As the home of those very first encounters, Gisborne will host the opening events of this extraordinary national programme. The cornerstone of which is a three-month voyage that will see a flotilla of waka hourua (double-hulled voyaging canoes), tall ships and naval ships, including the Endeavour replica, visiting sites of significance to Māori/Pacific and European voyaging around the country.

Exact details of the launch will be released soon, but expect;

  • Spellbinding ceremonial welcomes of both waka, heritage tall ships and naval vessels.
  • Open days where you can meet the crew and explore these stunning vessels - each with their own special story.
  • An exciting programme of history, art, nautical and environmental events and activities for the entire family.

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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Open Day

Waka Hourua Tairawhiti

Tuia 250 1308

Join us on board te waka hourua Tairāwhiti where our voyager and storyteller will share stories of the voyaging history of our ancestors.

During this in-berth experience, discover how the historic waka of te Tairāwhiti were built and how our tipuna Paoa, Kiwa, Maia, and Ruawharo journeyed from Hawaiiki using moon, stars, currents and birds to navigate through the Pacific Ocean to Aotearoa.

Note, the waka will be moored in her berth in the inner harbour – this is not a sailing excursion. We meet at the Mindlab in Wharf Shed 3. Each tour is 1.5 hours in duration.

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

  • No high-heels
  • No toilet facilities on board
  • Smoking and alcohol is not permitted at the port at any time.
  • Please bring sunblock, sunhat and 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:10:30am, Sunday March 31st

Duration:Approx 2hrs

Ticket prices:Free

Book nowBookings essential.

Tipuna Stories

Tipuna stories

Join TROTAK’s incredible story tellers as they share the story of the Ikaroa-a-Rauru waka and its captain Maia.

Enjoy modern storytelling at its best

Location:HB Williams Memorial Library Gisborne 34 Bright Street.

Times:11:00am, Saturday March 30th


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 March 31st

Ticket prices:$10 plus booking fee

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.