New Zealand is a country of great navigators
When Captain Cook first sailed to New Zealand in 1769 he had artists, scientists, geologists, botanists and philosophers on board. The voyage of the Endeavour was an international scientific collaboration – with the humanities and sciences intimately engaged. Together they sailed off the edge of the known to discover new worlds, new people and new understandings.
When they reached the shores of New Zealand they met the local Maori tribes on the East Cape. Hundreds of years before their ancestors, the great Pacific Navigators had already made the great sea voyage, navigating by stars and waves and weather. They had made this little Island group their home.
It was in Tolaga Bay on the East Cape of New Zealand that the two peoples met. They talked about science, nature, navigation and philosophy. It was one of the most friendly meetings of European settlers and indigenous people. At these meetings two world views came together.
In New Zealand we were born to be explorers and navigators. Almost 250 years later it is time to remember our heritage. We live on the edge. New Zealand itself is like a vessel sailing into the unknown.
This is a story my mentor Sir Paul Callaghan used to tell.
It was the inspiration for the Transit of Venus Forum in 2012, which was his last gift to the country before he died. The idea was to gather together again Maori and Pakeha and dream a future for the country, with science and curiosity as guiding lights.
The KinShip stands for this vision. We want to reunite science and the humanities, release the potential of science and technology for the world, and rekindle a spirit of exploration and curiosity in society. We want to bring diverse cultures together around an audacious vision and spark and excite creative science communication.