As commemorative events are gearing up throughout New Zealand to mark 250 years since Captain Cook's HMS Endeavour first visited our shores, our thoughts turn to Polynesian heritage, our bicultural treaty, and the massive ocean journeys shared by the many cultures in New Zealand.

Waka, in particular large vaka ama with attached outriggers and sails, were essential to the settlement of the Pacific, especially from east Polynesia to New Zealand.

Read more: Tuia 250

Māori soon adapted this form to traverse New Zealand's coasts and river networks, their craft assisted by the vast tracts of Podocarp and kauri forests.