Tupapa

Our ancestors journeyed from Polynesia to Turanganui-a-Kiwa (Gisborne) more than 700 years ago. Tupapa: Our Stand. Our Story is a project to tell our rich, interwoven stories that have been passed down about the first people to navigate to and inhabit this place.

The Remarkable Reti by Kiwa Hammon and Duane Culshaw

A reti is a fishing device, used by Ngāti Pāhauwera to catch kahawai on the Mōhaka River. The iwi regard the reti as a taonga, and the article provides a great example of how traditions, along with stories and waiata, are handed down through the generations.

Matariki and Navigation - Kupe, Cook and Today

The 2019 sestercentennial commemoration of Captain Cook's first visit, called Tuia 250 First Encounters, is a time to reflect on the skills and knowledge of the people who discovered and founded Aotearoa New Zealand.
Matariki was originally a solar celebration that marked the solstice and let people commemorate dead and think about new year. Matariki means the eye of the Ariki, as the small star cluster rises just before dawn in early June from the same point that the Sun rises on the north-eastern horizon. This heralds the Māori New Year: a perfect time for our journey of discovery to explore the significance of Matariki; to appreciate the importance of stars in early navigation; to paddle a traditional waka; to explore Cook's landing sites; to use 18th century navigation and charting techniques, and to see how they compare with modern marine navigation and charting.

Roadside Stories by Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Roadside Stories is a series of audio guides that follow major road trips in New Zealand. The stories cover the places you’ll pass along the way – their people, their history, their cultural and natural significance.

The star compass – kāpehu whetū in The Science Learning Hub

Like the Sun, stars rise in the eastern horizon and set in the western horizon. Navigators who know the direction and position in which the stars rise and set can use the horizon as a compass. Knowledge of the night sky is the most important of the mental constructs of knowledge needed for wayfinding. The star compass was devised to help navigators memorise this knowledge.

Kupe in the Hokianga - Roadside Stories by Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Hokianga Harbour was the departure point of legendary Māori navigator Kupe when he returned to his homeland of Hawaiki. Kupe is said to have left behind two taniwha (water spirits), which guided the safe landing of later Polynesian arrivals.

The Canoe Is The People

The stars can never go wrong.
Thousands of years ago, when most sailors were still hugging the coast, the island peoples of the Pacific held the knowledge and skills to explore the great ocean paths extending far beyond their homes. Modern instruments didn't exist - no compasses, no radio, no radar (a system that uses electromagnetic waves to locate surrounding objects), no GPS (Global Positioning System, a handheld computer that tells your position by communicating with satellites). The Pacific peoples found their way across the ocean, guided by the wind, waves, stars, and sea life. Voyage into this website to find out more…
Includes teacher and student guides.

Hapuakorari - the lost lake

Heading southwest from Pukaha (Mt Bruce) there is a place of significance in a small lake that Maori know as Hapuakorari. It has been located near the headwaters of the Ruamahanga River in the Tararua Mountains for time immemorial. Few people have probably even heard of it but for those that have it is hard not to become fascinated. This is in no small part due to the many stories that have been attributed to the lake and the name Hapuakorari. Hapuakorari was said to have been a place of unparalleled beauty, a sacred place shrouded in mysticism. For a start a legendary bird, the Hokio, lived by the lake in the company of the Kotuku (white heron), Huia, Kereru, and Kaka. Living between beautiful Beech and huge Rimu trees were a variety of rare plants, all surrounding a pebbled beach on the water edge. Within the crystal clear waters massive two headed eels swam.

Tupaia's Endeavour, on Māori television

A TV series telling the story of Tupaia. Artist Michel Tuffery, historian Paul Tapsell, and actor Kirk Torrance meet with Gisborne and Uawa-Tolaga Bay identities, anthropologist Dame Anne Salmond, waka hourua (twin-hulled voyaging canoe) crew, Tupaia’s descendants and others as they explore the Tahitian’s role during those early encounters in New Zealand. 

New Zealand History topic in National Library Services to Schools

The Māori were the first settlers of Aotearoa, followed by the Europeans. Discover the history of New Zealand’s landscape, its people, events, places, identity, and cultures from sites like Te Ara, Te Papa, DigitalNZ, and NZ History. SCIS no. 1808403.

First encounters topic in National Library Services to Schools

This topic explores the First Encounters between Polynesians cultures (particularly Māori) and European explorers. The resulting cultural interactions had a profound impact on indigenous societies and also defined the New Zealand/Aotearoa of today. Collection includes images, books, articles, websites, videos, and audio.