Historic encounter makes Leigh landfall

Two vessels involved in the national celebration Tuia 250 visited Leigh last week.

The waka Ngahiraka and Fa’afaiti anchored in the harbour en route to celebrations in Whangarei.

Residents took the opportunity to climb on board and chat with the crew. Tuia 250 commemorates 250 years since the first onshore meetings between Māori – the tangata whenua of Aotearoa New Zealand – and Pākehā. 

Tuia 250 also celebrates the voyaging heritage of Pacific people. A flotilla made up of two waka hourua, three tall ships including the Endeavour replica from Australia and R.Tucker Thompson, and a va’a tipaerua from Tahiti, will sail around NZ to engage with communities, iwi and hapū for three months until December.

As a mark of respect when passing the urupā at the Omaha Marae, at the mouth of the harbour, the Ngahiraka blew the putaatara.

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