Pēwhairangi Encounter with Captain Cook

Nov. 13, 2019, 2:57 p.m.

Waitangi - the birthplace of our nation welcomed Tuia 250 commemorations 250-years after Captain James Cook anchored at Pēwhairangi.

An encounter with tangata whenua took place 250-years ago where a mass waka taua meet Cook on HMS Endeavour shortly after his arrival into the Bay of Islands.

Hone Mihaka (Ngāti Kawa/Ngāti Rahiri) recalls stories shared of the journey after Cook and his crew first landed at Tūranganui-a-Kiwa and made their way along the East Coast of Aotearoa.

“Captain Cook wasn’t sure where exactly he was upon his arrival at Gisborne. Encounters took place with tangata whenua there, but Cook was in search of what more this land had to offer,” said Mihaka.

“Around 10-days later, he arrived here in the Bay of Islands and it wasn’t long before Ngāpuhi chiefs sought dialogue with him.

“He continued north and landed in Matauri Bay where Hokianga and Ngāpuhi chiefs eventually met him - we’re unsure of the kōrero that took place between Cook, Wakanene and Patuone whilst in Matauri but it was only to be a year later the great battle of Taiamai began with Kaharau and Uenuku at the forefront,” said Mihaka.

Inter-tribal wars began in Ngāpuhi after Cooks departure from Pēwhairangi and ravaged the north and eventually wider Aotearoa for years to come.

A range of emotions were expressed nationally after announcements were made of the Tuia 250 national anniversary taking place this year - both negative and positive. Statues of Cook were vandalised prompting calls from some regions to reclaim their Māori names after Cook mapped and re-named regions along his travels.


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