Home > Non Fiction > The NZ Series book4 First Encounters New Zealand 1642-1840 by Gordon and Sarah Ell. Pub. Oratia, 2021.

The NZ Series book4 First Encounters New Zealand 1642-1840 by Gordon and Sarah Ell. Pub. Oratia, 2021.

April 30, 2021

If you haven’t caught up with this excellent series on New Zealand’s history then start with this one. From diaries and log books starting with Abel Tasman in 1642, it tells of early encounters with the Maori that are very enlightening and basically predict future problems.

Tasman’s entry concerns conflict with Maori in Golden bay which Tasman called Murderers Bay and then a remarkably similar encounter 125 years later in Tologa Bay between Captain Cook’s men and the Maori. In the latter incident Cook had a Hawaiian speaker with him who could understand and be understood by the Maori.

Further entries deal with Samuel Marsden and the first Xmas, the timber trade, Whalers and Sealers, the first Maori to visit England, the tattooed sailor who returned home after living amongst the Maori for some years and other very interesting stories.

It concludes with John Logan Campbell the father of Auckland, landing on the isthmis that was to become Auckland, standing on the hill that was Mt Remuera and gazing across the Waitemata Harbour in awe. It is a lyrical story telling of the purchase of land for development.

This is the best series on early NZ that I have read and would be a valuable asset to any school library. Others in this series are also reviewed on this blog.

Each entry is well illustrated with explanation of terms used and of historical and cultural facts and figures.

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