Who was Tupaia? This brilliant Tahitian played a vital role on the Endeavour as it sailed around the country. He was a high priest, a master navigator, and an artist. He was also a much-needed translator. He helped British and Māori understand each other — and saved lives as a result.
Wherever Tupaia went, Māori treated him as a high chief, wrapping him in cloaks and listening to stories of his homeland, not far from their own.
Tragically, he died a few months later. On Cook's second voyage, in 1772, Māori paddled out shouting, 'Tupaia! Tupaia!' His name, Cook said, was 'known over the great part of New Zealand'.