Until recently, preparations to mark James Cook's arrival in New Zealand 250 years ago had barely been noticed publicly.

Winston Peters raised questions about it in Parliament in 2017 while in Opposition.

What captured his attention was the involvement of perhaps his three least favourite National Party people: Maggie Barry had appointed Dame Jenny Shipley to chair the Tuia 250 co-ordinating committee and Paula Bennett had supported a higher than standard payment for Shipley because of her seniority.


Prime Minister Bill English batted away the protestations.

There was a Sam Neill television documentary series last year, Uncharted, about James