The fall and rise of Ngāti Hei

On November 12, 1769, the first written account of a pōwhiri  between Māori and Pākehā occured when Captain Cook was invited to Wharetāewa Pā at Wharekaho in Whitianga.

Cook and his crew, including the Tahitian Navigator Tupaia, spent 12 days at Te Whanganui a Hei. Cook spent his time there measuring the transit of Mercury across the sun, trading and resupplying his ship in what was described as an amicable cultural exchange with Ngāti Hei.

But within 50 years, Ngāti Hei's numbers would be decimated to less than 100 - due to disease and a devastating invasion by Ngāpuhi with their newly acquired muskets. Ngāti Hei would lose their land, their language and their culture.

Last week, Ngāti Hei hosted a flotilla of Waka, Va'a, heritage ships and their crews along dignitaries and the Coromandel community as part of the Tuia 250 commemorations.

They say it's an important step towards reestablishing themselves, as a strong, and prosperous iwi.

Watch the full report from The Hui.