About Mercury 250 Trust

Formed in 2014, Mercury 250 Trust is comprised of four volunteer trustees – the Ngati Hei kaumatua, a community leader, a local historian and an education leader.  The Trust’s purpose is to:
·         facilitate Tuia – Encounters 250 commemoration ceremonies in Te Whanganui o Hei, and
·         to encourage and promote the development of a community programme of events and legacy projects reflecting the kaupapa of Tuia 250
The Trust is supported by Thames Coromandel District Council, and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage (Manatu Taonga) and the Ministry of Education (Te Tahuhu o Te Matauranga).
The Trust’s patron is Sir Michael Fay.  
In 2018, funds granted by Lottery Tuia 250 Programme enabled the Trust to engage two contractors:  a Cultural Advisor and an Event Coordinator. 
Mercury 250 Trust aims to craft and support an enduring concept of the important place of Powhiri in the rohe (area), founded on the unique historical connections that were made in 1769 between Ngati Hei and the first Europeans, on the shores of Wharekaho. 

“Te Powhiri honours New Zealand’s biculturalism and acknowledges its multi-cultural communities.   It is an opportunity for our cultures to share our stories with balance and honesty, to bring about understanding, respect, reconciliation.  It is an invitation to our nation, to all of us, to make the decision to create the future we want.” 
- Paul Kelly, co-chair Mercury 250 Anniversary Trust.   
“It is an opportunity for a reset.”
- Joe Davis, Ngati Hei spokesperson and co-chair Mercury 250 Anniversary Trust

Tuia 250 and Te Powhiri Foundation Document

Tuia 250 and Te Powhiri  Foundation Document


Paul Kelly:
Mercury Bay Community Board Chair 

Joe Davis (Ngati Hei):
Local iwi representative 

John Wright:
Mercury Bay Area School Principal

Richard Gates:
Mercury Bay local historian

Sir Michael Fay:

Coordinating Group 
- Kirstin Richmond: Events Coordinator, Thames Coromandel District Council 
- Jan Wright: Mercury 250 Trust Event Coordinator 
- Michelle Wilson: Mercury 250 Trust Ngati Hei Cultural Advisor

About Tuia 250 - Encounters

Tuia - Encounters 250 is a nationwide commemoration taking place during 2019 and 2020 marking 250 years since the first onshore meetings between Maori and Europeans during the Endeavour's 1768-1771 voyages.  The commemoration acknowledges the extraordinary feats of the Pacific voyagers who arrived in Aotearoa centuries earlier, and the matauranga (the wisdom/knowledge) of two great voyaging traditions which brought both cultures together. 

Tuia 250 is the opportunity to tell and hear our nation’s and community’s stories and histories to grow understanding.  It is about weaving together our two cultures and values and creating a future we will all be proud to leave for our grandchildren. 

Regional commemorative events and ceremonies are being developed and delivered by four charitable trusts in the four parts of Aotearoa/New Zealand where Maori and Europeans first met during the 1769-71 voyage:

Te Ha 1769 Sestercentennial Trust in Tairawhiti/Gisborne

Mercury 250th Anniversary Trust in Te Whanganui o Hei/Mercury Bay

Te Au Marie Sestercentennial Charitable Trust in Te Tai Tokarau/Bay of Islands

Totaranui 250 Trust in Totaranui/Marlborough


Contact Us

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For general inquiries contact:
Jan Wright
Mercury 250 Trust Event Coordinator
07 867 1309 or
027 224 1927