New Zealand was originally
a country without human inhabitants, filled with strange but harmless
animals. The first colonials were the Maori who arrived here around 800
AD. They named it Aotearoa or land of the long white cloud. Then in 1642
Dutch explorer Abel van Tasman sailed along the West coast of New Zealand.
Unfortunately he didn't stay long because on his attempt to come ashore,
several members of his crew were killed and eaten! It is a shame he was
such a pussy, otherwise this beautiful place would have been Dutch. Anyway
he named the country Nieuw Zeeland after a province of the Netherlands.
Possibly because that province had just as nasty inhabitants!
Slowly but gradually the first
Pakeha (white persons) came to settle in New Zealand. Firstly the fortune
seekers, later the brave haearted and the missionaries. Soon the Maori
found themselves spiritually assaulted and thier land taken, but in 1840
the Waitangi treaty was signed between the Pakeha and the Maori. This
gave the Maori the same rights as British settlers plus the right to their
land. Although this treaty is only two pages long, the actual context
is still one of the big national discussions today!
After that lots happened but that's beyond the scope of this page. Please consult history books. Then in 2004, we landed at Auckland airport and began exploring the green backland of this beautiful country. Finding it difficult to find even a few meters of coast to call our own. 'Alex bay','Jerphanion islands', nice sound to it eh?