Heritage Talk - Tuai

Whats On

Researcher and author Alison Jones will present the remarkable story of Tuai, a young Ngare Raumati chief from the Bay of Islands who was one of the first Māori travellers to Europe. Based on the book she co-authored with Kuni Kaa Jenkins, Tuai: A Traveller in Two Worlds.

In early 1817 Tuai, a young Ngare Raumati chief from the Bay of Islands, set off for England. He was one of a number of Māori who, after encountering European explorers, traders and missionaries in New Zealand, seized opportunities to travel beyond their familiar shores to Australia, England and Europe in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Tuai would visit exotic foreign ports, mix with teeming crowds in the metropolis of London, and witness the marvels of industrialisation at the Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire. With his lively travelling companion Titere, he would attend fashionable gatherings and sit for his portrait. He shared his deep understanding of Māori language and culture. And his missionary friends did their best to convert him to Christianity.

But on returning to his Māori world in 1819, Tuai found there were difficult choices to be made. His plan to integrate new European knowledge and relationships into his Ngare Raumati community was to be challenged by the rapidly shifting politics of the Bay of Islands.

Free entry.
No booking is required. Seating is strictly limited on a first-come, first-served basis.

The picture above is a painting of Tuai in European dress by James Barry, 1818.

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How to Find Us

Cafler Suite, Whangarei

Event Dates

Wednesday 31 May 2023