It was a day filled with connection and warm welcomes as those on board the Tuia 250 vessels were welcomed to Whangārei.

On Saturday kaihoe on traditional waka paddled down the Hātea to meet the three waka hourua, and on land crews were welcomed by the Pasifika community before a powerful haka pōwhiri.

Photographer Michael Cunningham captured the morning.

Iwi liaison officer Mario Kake enjoying the day. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Iwi liaison officer Mario Kake enjoying the day. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Kaumatua Hohepa Rudolph says a karakia. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Kaumatua Hohepa Rudolph says a karakia. Photo / Michael Cunningham
The crowd watching the haka pōwhiri. Photo / Michael Cunningham
The crowd watching the haka pōwhiri. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Warriors welcome the visitors. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Warriors welcome the visitors. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Papanui Polamalu from the Hihiaua Cultural Centre. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Papanui Polamalu from the Hihiaua Cultural Centre. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Ngāti Hine's Delaraine Armstrong. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Ngāti Hine's Delaraine Armstrong. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Reenie Rapana from Poroti and Kailyn Rapana from Moerewa. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Reenie Rapana from Poroti and Kailyn Rapana from Moerewa. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Waka hourua Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Waka hourua Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti. Photo / Michael Cunningham