Te Powhiri
Te Whanganui o Hei

He rae ki te rae, he ihu ki te ihu, Te hau ka rere, te ha ka tau
A meeting of peoples, a mixing of cultures, a blending of heritage, a sharing of future

Company about

Te Whanganui o Hei/Mercury Bay is one of four landing sites in Aotearoa/New Zealand where Maori and European first met during Lieutenant James Cook’s 1768-1771 voyages of exploration. 
Throughout 2019 and 2020, Tuia – Encounters 250, a tier 1 national commemoration, marks the 250th anniversary of this pivotal moment in our nation’s history, and Te Powhiri (The Welcome) is the name given to the Te Whanganui o Hei/Mercury Bay community’s expression of Tuia – Encounters 250. 
In November 1769, when HM Bark Endeavour sailed into Te Whanganui o Hei waters, tangata whenua Ngati Hei welcomed the newcomers ashore at their turangawaewae, Wharekaho, and guaranteed their safe passage to their marae, Wharetaewa Pa. There, Ngati Hei honoured Lieutenant James Cook, Tupaia (a Polynesian linguist, navigator and priest) and the scientists and crew on board the Endeavour with the Maori ritual of welcome and inclusion, the Powhiri.  
In the same spirit, today the people of Te Whanganui o Hei regularly include thousands of newcomers, visitors and holiday makers into their community.  In October 2019, a Powhiri will take place at Wharekaho to commemorate that first amicable encounter between Maori and Pakeha 250 years ago. 
Many other projects and events reflecting the kaupapa of Te Powhiri and Tuia – Encounters 250 are also planned for 2019 and 2020 in Te Whanganui o Hei.  Visit our Events Calendar for detail. 
Join us, as we recognise and celebrate the weaving together (te raranga) of the many threads of the cultures of Te Whanganui o Hei and Aotearoa.

Together we build a strong foundation (te paparahi) for a shared future – Tuia i te muka tangata.hared future – Tuia i te muka tangata.

Tuia karakia

Kia whakarongo ake au     
Ki te tangi a te manu nei      
A te Matui      
“Tui, tui, tuituia” 
I listen 
To the cry of the bird 
The Matui 
Calling “tui, tui, tuituia”
Tuia i runga    
Tuia i raro     
Tuia i waho          
Tuia i roto
That it be woven above 
As it is below 
Woven without 
As it is within
Tuia i te here tangata    
Ka rongo te po  
Ka rongo te ao  
Tuia i te muka tangata 
Interwoven with the threads of humanity 
Felt in innocence 
And in consciousness 
Intertwined with the threads of humankind
I takea mai i Hawaiki-Nui      
I Hawaiki-Roa, i Hawaiki-Pamamao    
Oti ra me era atu ano Hawaiki  
Te hono a wairua  
Born from Great-Hawaiki 
From Far-Hawaiki, from Long-Distant-Hawaiki 
And hence all other Hawaiki 
The merging of spirits
Whakaputa ki Te Whaiao    
Ki Te Ao Marama      
Tihe mauri ora! 
Out in to the World of Light 
Life, knowledge, and illumination 
Sneeze oh living spirit, dynamic life-force, life-principle!


Contact Us

Subscribe to our mailing list

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