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Children experience exclusive day with Tuia 250 flotilla


Port Marlborough went the extra mile on Monday, sponsoring the Schools Day as part of Tuia 250 ki Tōtaranui events. The funding came from their Sounds Discovery Fund, which is designed to support children’s connections with the local Sounds environment.

Over 1,200 students from around the region were provided transport assistance from as far away as Kaikōura, right through to the Rai Valley, to journey to Picton for an exclusive day. A bespoke programme, sponsored by Port Marlborough, overlaid the Tuia 150 flotilla experience to create a Marlborough Sounds perspective.

Port Marlborough CEO Rhys Welbourn said, “The highlight of the Tuia 250 events for me was the Port Marlborough Schools Day, provided for by our Port Marlborough Sounds Discovery Fund. This is our second year allocating the fund to educational maritime themed activities for Marlborough schoolchildren.

The school’s day allowed over 1,200 Marlborough kids to learn about the waka hourua, tangata waka, tall ships and both pacific and European feats of navigation. It fits with our kaupapa of people, planet and prosperity through partnerships. To protect the future we need to invest in the future, and what better way than through our future generation.”

Cheryl Wadworth, Tōtaranui 250 Trust and Principal of Whitney Street School, said “As a trustee it has been great being involved in the organisation of the recent Port Marlborough Schools' Day, as a culmination to their learning focused around the theme 'Dual heritage - shared future'. Students were able to experience three activities including going onboard either a tall ship or waka hourua, and learning about Māori, Pacifika and European navigation. A highlight was the amazing Tuia Mātauranga Education Truck which was specifically designed with hands-on interactive activities related to Tuia 250.”

The impact of Tuia 250 on education in Marlborough has been that most schools have become more culturally responsive and built closer relationships with their local communities including their local iwi. Students are aware of their personal journeys of coming to Aotearoa, and the journeys/voyages of early navigators. Schools have localised the curriculum to ensure the children learn about places of significance in their community, and have learned stories of migration as well as local legends. Many schools have participated in education outside the classroom activities including visits to places of significance (eg Meretoto), educational lessons at the local heritage museum, and workshops and visits to the local Millenium Art Gallery.

Cheryl adds "It's been wonderful to see the community get behind Tuia 250 and support our tamariki to learn about their culture, heritage and identity. It is hoped that through understanding the impact of the first encounters and exploring their own migration stories, that our students will develop an awareness, empathy and understanding of each other's cultural perspective."

The Tuia 250 flotilla left Picton on Tuesday, November 26th. The four vessels will muster off the
Wairau Bar midday Thursday to acknowledge the significance of Te Pokohiwi/Wairau Bar as a site of settlement by possibly the first generation of Polynesian settlers in the 13th century. Around 2am on Friday, it will set sail for Wellington, where a pōwhiri is scheduled for 7.30am on Saturday.


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