Bicentennial Commemorative Events
A planned series of events across three countries
A series of bicentennial commemorative events acknowledging famed Maori chief, Hongi Hika, Waikato and Thomas Kendall's 1820 journey to England. In mid-2020, it will have been 200 hundred years since Hongi, his peer Waikato and Missionary Thomas Kendall, sailed from the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, to London, England - each for their own reasons.
To properly acknowledge the story of these three men as pivotal figures within the history of New Zealand; their journeys and experiences in England and Australia; their admittance to Queens' College (Cambridge University) where they assisted Prof. Samuel Lee in compiling an English-Maori Dictionary, Hongi and Waikato's introduction to the Peerage inside the House of Lords, Thomas Kendall's unlikely ordination as a priest at Norwich Cathedral, as well as Hongi and Waikato's audience with King George IV at Carlton House - the beginning of the relationship between Maori and the British Crown.
The kaupapa (premise) behind this initiative is, firstly, to acknowledge the three men for their roles and place within New Zealand history. Secondly, to provide uri (descendants) of these three men, and other interested people, the opportunity to follow in these men's footsteps and experience a meaningful and life-changing journey. Thirdly, to provide a number of our senior kaumatua (Maori elders and community leaders) the opportunity to experience this wonderful honour; as they provide cultural protection, support and guidance to these three families.
We hope to provide all participants, both those who travel to these events as part of our hikoi, as well as those who join us along the way; choosing to attend all, some, or even a single event, These events will provide genuine opportunities to experience meaningful engagement, whilst learning and sharing, the history of this trio of men.
Educational and teaching resources will also be produced, such as: a short film, a documentary, an interactive historical novel, children's books, and digital apps; which will ensure that this kaupapa continues to have a positive and lasting impact on New Zealand history. This is in line with the recent decision by the NZ Ministry of Education, to make New Zealand History mandatory within the NZ Curriculum from 2022 onward.
*Click here to view the rescheduled June-July 2021 trip itinerary.
Please note: the UK-based events have now been cancelled (Covid19) and will be replaced with a documentary, and our Australian and New Zealand events have now been postponed to June-July 2021.
Photographer: Brent Kerehona 2019-20
Design Illustrator: Tess Begg 2020