October 17, 2019
Pōwhiri goes ahead without waka hourua
A pōwhiri for the Tuia 250 flotilla will go ahead this morning at at Te Whanganui a Hei-Mercury Bay, despite the three waka hourua still being stuck in rough seas around East Cape.
Ngāti Hei will welcome guests including crew from the Endeavour replica and other vessels at Wharetaewa Pā, the site of the first ever pōwhiri accorded to Europeans 250 years ago.
The pōwhiri will be preceded by a hīkoi along Wharekaho beach, tracing the footsteps that Cook, Tupaia and the Endeavour crew took along the foreshore 250 years ago.
Iwi spokesperson Joe Davis says his people welcomed the original Endeavour crew with a great sense of intrigue, and stories of the encounters that took place over almost two weeks in 1769 will figure prominently.
While public tours of the waka are now unlikely to go ahead, other events are unaffected including tomorrow’s free 12-hour cultural showcase at Whakau Reserve/Taylor’s Mistake.
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