In 2019 New Zealand will commemorate the 250th anniversary of the first onshore encounters between Māori and non-Māori, and the feats of Polynesian navigators and explorers who reached and settled in Aotearoa New Zealand many years earlier.

Tuia – Encounters 250 is a national commemoration of the multiple histories that formed our nation and aims for New Zealanders to talk about our rich histories and our national identity.

Tuia – Encounters 250 events will be held across the country throughout 2019, culminating in a flotilla of vessels: waka, the replica Endeavour, tall ships, vaka, and naval ships. The flotilla will travel to sites of significance for Māori, Pacific and European voyaging.

The Ministry of Education will support the commemoration through Tuia Mātauranga, which is the national education programme to support teaching and learning using the themes of the commemoration as part of local curriculum development. It will include learner-focused activities and events designed to engage learners, while learning about the themes related to Tuia in national, local, and personal contexts.

Tuia kōrerorero: ngā pātai

One of the supports for teaching and learning is a set of thought-provoking questions intended to guide further student inquiry. These questions present an opportunity for contextual, cross-curricular learning across the science and social science areas.

Following are a selection of the questions that have strong links to science and Hub resources to support them.

Term 1: Voyaging

Starry nights: How have people navigated their way around the world?
The article Navigating without instruments – introduction curates articles, media and activities regarding wayfinding, the star compass, waka construction and legends.

Down the drain: What do we do on the land that impacts the sea?
The following topics will take you to curated resources.
Water pollution

Term 2: First encounters

Changing landscape: What impact has human use and settlement had on your area?
The following topics will take you to curated resources.
Land use
Our changing ecosystems – timeline
Farming development and changing landscapes

Matariki: How and why do we celebrate Matariki?
Matariki resources in te reo Māori and English

Banking on banks: Why might you collect, protect and preserve plants?
Plant collections in museums
Myrtle rust and the interactive timeline Detecting myrtle rust in New Zealand (seed bank collection)
Kauri dieback

Term 3

Clean and green: What can we do to keep New Zealand beautiful?
The following topics will take you to curated resources.
Plastics and recycling (resources for levels 1-4)
Enviro-imprints – introduction (resources for levels 3-5)
Electric car history
Solar energy

Stand up for your rights: What causes would you consider protesting for?
Wicked problems – climate change, 1080, genetically modified foods, water fluoridation

Term 4

Global canteen: How and why has the food we eat changed over time?
The following topics will take you to curated resources.
Future foods

Border control: What is the impact of introducing new species?
The following topics will take you to curated resources.
1080 – an overview (includes a timeline with the dates various pest mammals were introduced)
Insect pests
Conserving native birds - introduction

For more information about the Tuia Mātauranga 2019 education programme, please visit:

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