The commemoration for 2019, Tuia – Encounters 250 will acknowledge the early meetings of Māori and Europeans when James Cook and Tahitian chief and navigator Tupaia arrived in 1769 – a pivotal moment in New Zealand history when two great traditions of voyaging and exploration (Pacific and European) met on and off the coast of Aotearoa New Zealand.
Tuia – Encounters 250 provides an important opportunity to foster an inclusive national identity through a heightened awareness and collective understanding of our dual heritage, our connections to the land and to each other and our potential as a nation in the future.
The commemoration aims to strengthen New Zealanders’ positive identification with our nation’s bicultural foundations, the value of indigeneity and mātauranga Māori and better understand New Zealand’s complex history of migration and settlement.
Events and legacy projects being planned will have positive social, cultural, ecological and economic impacts and will include ecological restoration, cultural and education initiatives and regional tourism development.
The commemoration has been given the Māori name, Tuia, central to the whakataukī below, meaning to weave together, symbolising bringing people together in unity.