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New Zealand


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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!
For the next 100 years nothing much happened (unless of course you were maori), but then in 1769 the Endeavour with Captain Cook aboard came along and claimed the entire land for the British crown. On his tour around the islands he named almost every bay, island and mountain with what he saw-Bay of islands, bay of plenty, kidnappers bay, poverty bay, 90 mile beach-you get the idea. And when he ran out of names he looked at his breakfast for inspriration eg.Poor knights island (French toast if you wondering). Tired of that he sailed to Australia for a beer and left New Zealand for what is was.

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?