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Past meets the future . . . Tuia Matauranga assistant Emily Taylor guides Gracie McEwing (14) through a virtual reality tour of a waka journey across the Pacific Ocean. PHOTO: GUS PATTERSON

A roadshow to commemorate 250 years since the first contact between Maori and Europeans is as much about the future as the past.

Tuia Matauranga, which translates from Maori to English as “weave knowledge”, visited Oamaru earlier this week – one of its 24 scheduled stops throughout the country.

The trailer had a variety of interactive tools to help people learn about the history of New Zealand, and provided a space for people to share local knowledge and stories about their identity.

Half the truck was dedicated to Pacific voyaging and the other half to European settlement and New Zealand’s heritage over the past 250 years.

“Every single group that has come in has had some amazing stories about their local place,” programme manager Thalia Hargreaves said.

“The idea is to stimulate conversations about where we come from.

“If we know who we are and where we come from, we have a shared sense of the future.”

After taking part in the interactive activities, visitors were encouraged to share what was important to them about their local area.

The purpose of the roadshow was not to record the history or testimonies of people but to start a conversation about what it meant to be a New Zealander, Ms Hargreaves said.

“It shows our uniqueness as a country.

“People seem ready to have a conversation about their identity.”

The roadshow began in Gisborne on October 6 and will finish in Kaikoura next week.

Tuia Matauranga is travelling by road at the same time as the Tuia 250 Voyage is sailing to locations in New Zealand that hold significance to the initial encounters between Maori and Europeans on James Cook’s Endeavour

A flotilla of ships, including traditional Pacific and Maori vessels, are accompanying a replica of Endeavour on the journey.