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Ed Sheeran

Tuiā 250 chance to tell Māori version of history

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Crown Māori Relations Minister Kelvin Davis says the Tuiā Encounters 250 commemorations are a chance for Māori to celebrate their own voyaging history, alongside marking the 250th anniversary of Captain James Cook's landing.

The Minister is heading round the country later this week to meet mana whenua in the centres where a flotilla of waka hourua, tall ships and a replica of Captain Cook’s Endeavour will travel between October and December.

Ngāti Porou wahinetoa Tina Ngata has told a United Nations committee Māori are still labouring under the historical and enduring rights violations as a result of the landing, and Māori artists are preparing anti-Cook exhibitions and calling for boycotts of official events.

Mr Davis says Tuiā 250 is about dual heritage and shared future.

"We are where we are today and we can’t deny that but I totally get people saying it was the beginning of the end for Māori. I think we need to be a lot more positive and celebrate where we are now. It’s an opportunity to tell our story and we’ve got some amazing stories of navigation through the Pacific, the stories of when out people got here, and let’s promote our side of the history," he says.

Mr Davis says Sir Hekenukumai Busby, who was buried last week, will be a presence in the commemorations because of his work revealing and reviving the Polyneisan voyaging traditions.

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