top of page
Tuia 250 

FUNDER and LOGO - Amount

Main aim of Project, Delivered ontime and in budget

Links to news article or youtube article

In October to December 2019, thousands of people around the country cast their gaze to Te Moananui a Kiwa – the mighty Pacific Ocean – from the shores of Aotearoa New Zealand, and were treated to the sight of the Tuia 250 Voyage – a journey of national significance.

Crews on two waka hourua from Aotearoa, three tall ships including the Endeavour replica from Australia, and the va’a tipaerua Fa’afaite from Tahiti sailed to and engaged with 14 communities. 

The Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla landed at sites of historic and cultural significance giving a platform to communities, iwi and hapū to share their stories of arrival and their encounters with Tupaia, James Cook and the Endeavour crew.

And in an experience of a lifetime, hundreds of New Zealanders from all over the country were accepted as Tuia 250 Voyage Trainees to learn new skills voyaging on board a Tuia 250 flotilla vessel.

On land, vessel crews and communities shared stories and taught the public about Pacific, Māori and European sailing and navigation.

The family-friendly events in many regions included a pop-up stardome, the Tuia Mātauranga Roadshow and a chance to get onboard the vessels.

The total amount of funding for theses various projects was 300k, all projects were delivered on time, within budget and produced the desired outcomes.


Various wānanga and field trips were set up and attended throughout Hawkes Bay to gather historical kōrero about 'First Encounters' from Kaumātua and elder's for the Kahungunu/Rongomaiwahine Hawkes Bay area.
At our annual Matariki week-long event the theme was 'First Encounters' this was delivered through factual presentations by local Hawkes Bay historians, Mana whenua and the Ātea Trust over two nights to an audience of 300 (150 each night). There was also storytelling that was delivered in rua reo/bilingual for the younger generations over the two nights that followed the same theme of First Encounters.
Hawkes Bay Today of Tuia 250 'First Encounters' from the Ātea Trust.

The Ātea Trust delivered a series of wānanga to help local whānau, clubs and organisations build their own small style traditional sailing waka (waka taurua) using modern materials. Six waka taurua were built over a six month period, the following water safety training and waka/sailing training ensured that these waka taurua all participated in the opening Tuia 250 Gisborne commemorations and the closing of Tuia 250 in Mahia. The Ātea Trust have continued with using these waka taurua in delivering ‘learning to sail waka’ classes within schools and community groups.


A portable planetarium / whare whetū was purchased from the USA, since the arrival in May 2019 the whare whetū programme has delivered to thousands of students of Hawkes Bay Schools/Kura. Either by visiting the School or through the annual Matariki programme. Using the new Nightshade software for planetariums, the Ātea Trust have developed their own customised visual art for Māori star lore and constellations. Programmes are delivered in either Te Reo Māori or English depending on the school’s requirements. This is a huge asset to the Trust in being able to educate schools and communities about traditional celestial kōrero and practices.


Piripi Smith trained the two Tahitian Navigators; Moeata Galenon and Titaua Teipoarii so that they could honour their ancestor Tupaia and navigate traditionally when sailing their waka hourua Fa'afaite from Tahiti to Aotearoa to commemorate the Tuia 250 events. Leaving in August and arriving in September 2019, Piripi helped with preparations and the training the trainee navigators for over 18 months and was on board the entire journey to mentor them. Upon arriving in NZ, Piripi and his mentor Jack Thatcher were able to graduate the two Tahitians to the title of 'Kaiwhakatere waka' (Traditional Navigator).

Media links



The Ātea Trust was responsible for reviewing the Navigational material for the Tuia Mātauranga Road Show truck and hosted the Truck for two days and nights in Hawkes Bay alongside the portable planetarium.

bottom of page