MAORI ENCOUNTERS

With the current New Zealand government’s interest in promoting the Maori language in many areas from education to the media and even entertainment, I thought a blog tracing the history of European contact with Maoris was timely.

As the sun set on the 18th of December 1642, two waka carrying Maoris from the Ngāti Tūmatakōkiri tribe approached the two Dutch ships Heemskerck and the Zeehaen which had anchored near the north-western tip of the South Island. The ships were commanded by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman and this was the first known occasion when Māori encountered Europeans. read more