The Vector Lights for Tuia 250 light only show starts at 8pm on 24th October 2019 and will run evey 30 minutes until midnight (inclusive). The show will run for 4 nights up until and including Sunday 27th October.
He whakamārama – an explanation
Tuia – Encounters 250, or Tuia 250, commemorates 250 years since the first onshore meetings between Māori – the tangata whenua of Aotearoa New Zealand – and Pākehā in 1769–70. Tuia 250 also celebrates the voyaging heritage of Pacific people that led to the settlement of Aotearoa New Zealand many generations before.
Waka of all kinds are an important part of the story that makes up Tāmaki Makaurau and specifically Waitematā Harbour in the City of Sails. The Vector Lights for Tuia 250 presentation is a story of waka and the rich history of this country pertaining to waka.
The opening scene and in between each chapter will see waves rolling into Waitematā symbolising movement to the next part of the story.
Te Ika a Maui
The story of Maui fishing up the North Island of Aotearoa is well-known. In this scene you will see the waka traveling to the fishing ground, the line into the water, the fish being caught and the representation of the two main islands in Aotearoa, Te Ika a Maui – North Island and Te Wai Pounamu – the South Island in green to represent the pounamu – greenstone, found in the waters of the Arahura River. The South Island is also known as Te Waka a Maui – Maui’s canoe.
Kupe and Te Wheke o Muturangi
The discovery of Aotearoa is said to have been made by the explorer Kupe on one of his journeys in his waka, Matahorua. There is a story of how Kupe chased an octopus, Te Wheke o Muturangi throughout the Pacific.
Te Hekenga Nui
The story of the great migration of the Māori is captured with the arrival of sails of many colours, signifying the many waka that arrived into Waitematā as part of this journey across the Pacific. While many are caught up in the tale of Māori who paddled seven canoes across the Pacific, there is evidence that the ancestors were great wayfinders and seafarers and could navigate their way across vast distances using the elements of wind, moon, sun, stars, waves, currents and birds flight patterns, arriving into Aotearoa aboard many waka hourua, waka tipaerua over decades.
In 1642, Abel Tasman first arrived into the waters of Aotearoa but did not make landfall. He is responsible for the name New Zealand being given to the land.
In 1769, Captain Cook arrived into the East Coast of Aotearoa aboard the ship HMS Endeavour. His initial circumnavigation of the country was the basis of the earliest maps of the country.
Tuia 250 Flotilla
The Tuia flotilla is made up of several vessels:
Waka hourua – double hulled sailing vessels Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti and Hinemoana from Tauranga; Haunui from Tāmaki Makaurau
Va’a Tipaerua - visiting waka Fa’afaite from Tahiti in commemoration of the navigational skills of Tupaia.
Tall ships – Replica of HMS Endeavour from Australia, R Tucker Thompson and Spirit of New Zealand from New Zealand.
Following the flotilla the bridge in red with the white patterns symbolise the Tuia 250 logo.
The ending pattern on the bridge is a representation of fireworks to mark the occasion.
The holding pattern on the bridge between showings is red for the Tuia logo and shapes to represent the flotilla.
Tuia te muka tangata ki uta
Weaving people together for a shared future
Find out more about the full programme of free events across Labour Weekend for Tuia 250 ki Tāmaki Makaurau.