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City of Sails hosts Tuia 250 flotilla

Published: 15 October 2019

Bic Runga, Anna Coddington, Ria Hall and Annie Crummer, singing with her Papa Will Crummer, are among many much-loved Kiwi artists bringing music to Te Tangi o Te Moana stage at Karanga Plaza, Wynyard Quarter, from 25 to 28 October.

The sounds, sights and tastes of the sea will blend into Auckland’s waterfront commemorations throughout Labour Weekend as Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland Council brings Tuia 250 ki Tāmaki Makaurau to the city.

Starting with a moving voyaging narrative in lights and sounds – Vector Lights for Tuia 250 - on the harbour bridge and a signature City of Sails welcome on the water for the arrival of the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla, the weekend will be a poignant weaving together of our multiple cultures: Māori, Pacific, European and others.

At around noon on Friday 25 October, six historic vessels will sail past the northern end of Queens Wharf. Master Māori navigator and waka voyager Jack Thatcher is Master of Ceremonies, bringing his rich voyaging experience to the story.     

Once the Tuia 250 Voyage vessels have docked, at about 2pm a Haka Pōwhiri will be led by Ngāti Whātua on the Eastern Viaduct.

Aucklanders are invited to come to the Viaduct and Wynyard Quarter and join the city’s Tuia 250 commemorations from 25 to 28 October.

On live stages and marquees, from Eastern Viaduct to Silo 6, people will hear stories of Auckland’s voyaging history with new clarity. Aucklanders will learn from the interpretation and analysis of our own mana whenua, historians and artists; taste Polynesian and Māori food; view storyboards about two immigrant families’ boat-building legacy; hear about the iconic Tupaia from his own people whose oral tradition has seen  history pass down the generations; and step onboard a vessel from the flotilla.

Public tours of the vessels will allow Aucklanders to feel and see history etched into the decking, fittings and rigging, and hear the crews’ stories aboard the flotilla’s waka hourua, va’a tipaerua and tall ships. The vessels will dock at the New Zealand Maritime Museum for three days before continuing their journey around the country.

And on the Auckland Live large outdoor screen voyaging films will play every day until 5pm. Aucklanders can watch free screenings of Waka Huia - Hekenukumai (2013) by Nga Taonga Sound and Vision. The film, in two parts, looks at the life of waka builder Hekenukumai (Hector) Busby and historic Waka Tapu voyage across the Pacific Ocean from New Zealand to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) on double-hulled sailing canoes (waka hourua) using traditional Polynesian navigation techniques.

For details of the free events on offer in Tāmaki Makaurau, visit ourauckland.nz/tuia250

Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage is leading the Tuia 250 Voyage. The Voyage event will largely be a platform for others to share their stories, including communities and iwi. While the HMB Endeavour didn’t enter the Waitematā Harbour 250 years ago, or land here, Auckland Council is joining with Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum and New Zealand Maritime Museum Hui Te Ananui A Tangaroa to host a line-up of events for Aucklanders to enjoy in support of the flotilla’s arrival.

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