A look at what is taking place at the museum & Mercury Bay over the year
The commemoration uses a Māori name (Tuia) and European concept of time and commemoration (Encounters 250).
Tuia means ‘to weave or bind together’ and is drawn from a whakataukī (proverb) and karakia (ritual chant) that refers to the intangible bonds established between people when they work together.
The logo references waka hourua (double-hulled voyaging canoes) and tall ship rigging, Pacific binding, raranga (weaving), the shape of a hull and the inter-lacing of our dual heritage.
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.
A national commemoration, Tuia – Encounters 250, will acknowledge this pivotal moment in our nation’s history as well as the exceptional feats of Pacific voyagers who reached and settled in Aotearoa many years earlier.
Mercury Bay will play a significant role in celebrations to mark the 250th year since Captain James Cook made his first landfall in New Zealand – as it was one of four locations where Europeans and Māori first met 250 years ago in October 1769.
Cook’s landing at Te Whanganui A Hei was the first amicable contact between Europeans and the Maori. Cook spent 12 days here with Ngāti Hei and named the area Mercury Bay.
Long before Cook’s arrival, Te Whanganui a Hei attracted another legendary navigator, Kupe. Kupe’s journey was followed by the Te Arawa canoe under its tauira or sailing master Hei – ancestor of the Ngāti Hei people who still reside in Whitianga today.
The Mercury 250 Anniversary Trust has been established to help the Mercury Bay community develop events and lasting legacies that commemorate the significance of Mercury Bay in our dual heritage. The museum is excited to be part of these celebrations and will keep you updated as events unfold.
For more information, visit the Te Whanganui A Hei Anniversary Trust website.
Become a Volunteer
If you would like to volunteer to be part of our front-of-house team welcoming visitors to the museum, read our volunteer programme fact sheet and download our application form from the link below.