Critical Encounters Tuia 250

Julian Hooper, Vakaloa [2017]. Part of the Art Collection exhibition in the General Library.

Julian Hooper, Vakaloa [2017]. Part of the Art Collection
exhibition in the General Library.

The Critical Encounters Tuia 250 programme of exhibitions, playlists and curator talks mark the 250th anniversary of meetings between Māori and James Cook’s Endeavour crew in 1769-70. Developed by Cultural Collections, the programme draws on our rich collections to reflect a range of perspectives and approaches, from Moana navigation histories to present-day challenges to the commemoration.

We invite you to explore these events:

Listening post: Te Whakawhiti Moana

I kawea mai e ngā kōrero tuku iho i ngā mātauranga o ngā tīpuna i wherahia ki te moana nui i ngā rau tau kua hipa.  I pupuri ai ēnei kōrero kei rō haka, pātere, karakia, lakalaka, pese anō hoki me te maha atu.  I tīpako te Archive of Māori and Pacific Sound i wētahi taonga hei whakanui i te tāhuhu korero o Te Moana mō te whakawhiti i Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa kei mua i te taenga mai o HMS Endeavour.

Oral traditions have carried the knowledge of our ocean-faring ancestors through the centuries. This knowledge is embedded in taonga such as haka, pātere, karakia, lakalaka, pese, and more. The Archive of Māori and Pacific Sound has selected a number of taonga to celebrate Moana histories of navigating across Te Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa prior to the arrival of the HMS Endeavour.

The recordings include Pātere, a karakia used when the tree that made the Tainui waka was cut down, and Kura Tīwaka Taua, a Ngāti Porou haka embodying a portion of the ancient paddling song of the Takitimu canoe.

Listening post
Visit the listening post to hear the recordings.

  • Weekdays, Monday 7 October–Friday 1 November, 9am-4.45pm
  • Special Collections foyer, Level G, General Library

Art exhibition: From the ship and from the shore: Varying viewpoints

From the Ship and from the Shore: Varying viewpoints is an exhibition of artworks by artists of Māori, Pacific and Pākehā descent selected from the University of Auckland Art Collection. The works highlight the different perspectives and narratives at play when considering the history of Aotearoa. The exhibition features on Levels G and 1 in the General Library from 7 October until 23 December 2019.

Self-guided tour
Pick up a map from the Special Collections counter, Level G, General Library.

Curator talks
Find out more about the artists and their works.

  • Wednesday 16 October and Wednesday 30 October, 1.15-1.45pm
  • Meet at 1.10pm outside Special Collections, Level G

The Art Collection is also hosting the touring exhibition, Paradise Lost: Daniel Solander’s Legacy, and an evening seminar on Monday 21 October. Read more.

Exhibition: Critical Encounters Tuia 250: Shifting values  

The Special Collections exhibition looks at Cook commemorations through time and the corresponding shifts in values and perspectives. Exhibits range from a book published in Auckland for the centenary to contemporary works that critique the early encounters and their legacies.


  • Monday 7 October-Friday 8 November
  • Special Collections foyer, Level G, General Library

Curator talks
Learn about the curatorial process.

  • Wednesday 9 October, Wednesday 23 October and Friday 8 November, 12.15-12.45pm
  • Meet at the Special Collections foyer, Level G, General Library

Online: TV and Radio playlist

The Tuia 250 playlist aims to capture the transition from celebration to critical analysis of the commemoration and take a wider look at early encounters in the Pacific. Compiled by Media Services staff, the playlist includes Tupaia’s Endeavour, a recent documentary on the Tahitian navigator who had a critical role on the Endeavour voyage, an episode of Takahinga Tawhito, which examines first contacts between European and indigenous peoples in the Pacific, and an October 1994 Te Karere item on opposition to the celebration of the 225th anniversary of Cook’s landing in Gisborne.

Cultural Collections, Te Tumu HerengaLibraries and Learning Services