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Source: Whangarei District Council

This page contains a news story about the Tuia 250 commemoration visiting Whangarei in November 2019.

Updated: 23/10/2019 1:44 p.m.

​Tuia 250 is the national commemoration celebrating Aotearoa New Zealand’s voyaging heritage and acknowledging 250 years since the first onshore encounters between Mäori and Pakeha.

Tuia 250 provides a programme of experiences for encouraging honest conversations about the past, the present, and how we navigate our shared future together.

More about Tuia 250 (opens in a new window)

The Flotilla

The Tuia 250 Voyage includes a Flotilla of six core vessels sailing together to sites (including the four land fall sites) around Aotearoa New Zealand.


Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti – from Te Puna i Rangiriri Trust – is part of the flotilla.


Open Flotilla Day

Open Flotilla Day at Port Nikau

Sunday 3 November 10am-3pm

Crew workshops, Mātauranga Roadshow truck

No bags on the vessels / All weather permitting

Event Details on our Venues & Events page (opens in a new window)


Tuia 250 ki Taitokerau honours and pays tribute to Tā Hekenukumai Puhipi (Hec Busby) of Te Uri o Hina, Te Rarawa and Ngāti Kahu. This is an untold story if it does not include master canoe carver, Tā Hek and his lifetime of leadership in the revival of waka building and celestial navigation in Aotearoa and the Pacific.

Tā Hek’s legacy remains in the many people he shared time and voyaged with and in the more than 30 waka he built, of which many were built in Hawai’i.

One of his memorable feats was to fulfil the wero (challenge) laid down by Sir James Henare. It was 7 December 1985 and Hōkūle’a, the Hawai’ian waka anchored off Waitangi, after voyaging just 16 days from Rarotonga. Sir James then laid down the challenge, because the Hawai’ians had navigated in the same manner as Māori navigators, that Māori build a waka of their own and sail to Hawai’i. Ten years later, Tā Hek, his waka Te Aurere and his skilled crew using celestial navigation fulfilled that challenge on 7 May 1995.