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Commemoration of first onshore Māori-European meeting gets $3.5 Government funding boost

The Government have given New Zealand's commemoration for the first onshore meeting between Māori and Europeans a $3.5 million boost, with the extra funding going to support a national voyaging event. 

Tuia – Encounters 250 commemorates the 250 years since James Cook and Tahitian chief and navigator Tupaia arrived in 1769 and also recognises Pacific voyagers who were already settled in New Zealand.

Acting Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni said in a statement the event was to promote the "exceptional feats of Pacific, Māori and European voyaging that brought us together as a nation".

Carmel Sepuloni.
Carmel Sepuloni. Source: 1 NEWS

"Tuia 250 will enable communities across the country to share the distinctive stories of their regions, giving voice to seldom heard accounts of our past to engage and inspire current and future generations."

The national voyage will visit 19 communities across the country, with a small fleet of vessels including waka hourua, a Tahitian vaka, tall ships and from the New Zealand Navy. 

There will be community and school education programmes involved, with up to 600 youth able to experience Tuia 250 while at sea. 

In total $13.5 million will go to the Tuia 250, with another $9 million from the Lottery Tuia Encounters 250 fund to go to related community events and projects. 

The voyage will be from October to December, 2019. 

15 October 2017. Gisborne / New Zealand. Statue of Captain Cook in Gisborne City centre. New Zealand.
Statue of Captain Cook in Gisborne City centre (file picture). Source: istock.com