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Spirit of NZ carries the mauri of Tuia 250 to Whakaraupō

The youth training ship Spirit of New Zealand will carry the mauri of the Tuia – Encounters 250 flotilla into Whakaraupō / Lyttelton today and be greeted on the water by Ngāi Tahu waka and the local community at the start of a weekend of events celebrating navigation traditions.

Tuia Encounters 250 co-chairs Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr and Dame Jenny Shipley said the Spirit of New Zealand will also be met by the sailing crews of Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti, Haunui and Fa’afaite, who travelled by land from Whanganui-a-Tara / Wellington due to poor weather conditions.

“Whakaraupō / Lyttelton is an important place to acknowledge and include our southern iwi and Takitimu waka,” said Hoturoa.

“Takitimu came in through the Ōpara River by Okains Bay so to have Ngāi Tahu waka tangata Kōtukumairangi, which is normally based at Okains Bay, welcome the Spirit of New Zealand and tipairua Pūmaiterangi will be a heartwarming sight.”

“We are also reminded of the strong Pacific voyaging and tall ships trading tradition in this part of Aotearoa,” says Dame Jenny.

Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke at Rāpaki is hosting the Whakaraupō event, which has a full programme of community engagement, education and performances.

Ngāti Wheke chair Manaia Rehu said it was an honour to host Tuia 250. “We are navigating our way into the future, for the up-and-coming generations, for the benefit of the kids. It is great inspiration for everyone, as we are looking forward to sharing the event with the community.

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“We have a good rapport with our communities who are all supporting Tuia 250 – our local communities, Christchurch City Council, Lyttelton Port Company, ECan, and our local hapū. We are also looking forward to having our schools visit the waka hourua. This paves the way forward for the future generation to learn navigation,” he said.

Already, the Tuia 250 flotilla has had more than 40,000 visits on open days. “Each of these engagements is an opportunity for people to have Tuia conversations about the shared future of Aotearoa,” Dame Jenny Shipley said. “We look forward to extending these conversations at Whakaraupō.”

Onboard have been more than 500 trainees from all over Aotearoa sailing on the waka hourua and tall ships. “Throughout the journey we are hearing of people having Tuia conversations that reflect on their origins and an increasing awareness and enthusiasm to hear of the multiple histories, particularly Māori histories, that lie in this land and people,” she said.

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