Te Powhiri Te Wanganui o Hei | Mercury Bay

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. 

In November 1769, when H.M 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.  


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