Latest News & Public Notices

Memorial cairn on its way back to Cooks Beach

03 September 2019

The work to reinstate the memorial stone cairn back to Cooks Beach has begun and will take 2-3 weeks to complete. Earthworks and site establishment is underway this week, which will then allow the cairn to be brought back and placed on site.

Contractors establishing the earthworks

The cairn marked the 1769 visit of Captain Cook to New Zealand. It toppled into the sea during a storm in July 2018 and was taken off the beach and stored. It will be returned to Cooks Beach after the site works have been completed and ahead of the Tuia commemorations.

The site where the cairn will sit includes a path and board walk, heritage signage as well as a platform with a view to a buoy that marks where Cook's ship The Endeavour was moored 250 years ago, this year. The surrounding area will also be planted with coastal natives.

"We are also making progress on a back-stop wall in the same area. This work contributes to managing our coastal erosion issues around the area to protect our infrastructure, " says Allan Tiplady, our District Manager North.

The consent for the back-stop wall has been lodged and planning is also underway to reinstate the foreshore and sand dunes with native planting at the same site.

For more information visit our project page or email

Tuia 250 commemorations

In 2019, Aotearoa New Zealand will acknowledge 250 years since the first onshore meetings between Māori and Europeans. Tuia – Encounters 250 (Tuia 250) is the national commemoration that recognises this milestone in our history.

This is a time to share, debate and reflect – to enable a more balanced telling of our stories, so that we speak openly and respectfully about our history. Tuia 250 is an opportunity to hold some honest conversations about Māori and European settlement of New Zealand to guide us as we go forward together.

Events and activities in regions right around the country will help New Zealanders to join the discussion.

"Let's Talk Tuia" is a free event that is on tonight at the Coghill Theatre in Whitianga. A time to reflect and discuss Tuia 250 topics with Dr Charles Royal - composer, storyteller and researcher of indigenous knowledge.

For further information on events in Mercury Bay see the Mercury 250 website here.