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Tūhura Ahuahu - cultural and ecological stories from Great Mercury Island

LEARNZ are running a virtual field trip, Tūhura Ahuahu - cultural and ecological stories from Great Mercury Island, in Term 3 (from 30 July to 1 August 2019).


Our understanding of the settlement of Aotearoa New Zealand is developing and becoming clearer as archaeological sites unveil their secrets. Nowhere is this more evident than on Ahuahu Great Mercury Island. Recent excavations are telling new stories of ancestors of modern Maori; their origins in Polynesia, their voyages, lives and lore.

In recent times Ahuahu has become a place of exciting new discoveries:

  • How did people from the tropics adapt to life in colder climates?

  • How could people create a sustainable living from a small island environment?

  • How did the island respond to a human presence and the plants and animals they brought with them?

  • How can we bring environments like Ahuahu back to what they used to be like?

On this field trip you will journey back in time to hear from descendants of early Māori, from archaeologists who will explain what they do in a dig, and from conservation workers restoring habitats and species.

As we acknowledge 250 years since the first onshore meetings between Māori and Europeans, exploring places such as Ahuahu Great Mercury Island will help us better understand our history and our country.

This virtual field trip is supported by the Ministry of Education/Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga, Waikato Regional Council, and Mercury Bay Area School.