EXPLORE the latest issue of our Miscellany!

Here’s a contents list for the September 2020 issue of the Abel Tasman-Discovery Miscellany:

  • Abel Tasman exhibition in Enschede, The Netherlands (18 September to 4 October)Please visit if you can!!!!!
  • Pacific Virtual Museum
  • Genetic study finds proof of early Polynesian/Native American contact
  • Mayflower 400: The science of sailing across the ocean in 1620
  • Recent Publications &c.
    • The first pakehas around Wellington and Cook Strait 1803-1839
    • Map History / History of Cartography website
    • Future issues of the Miscellany

And you can read the complete issue–CLICK HERE

(please email if you’d like to be on the distribution list)


April 2020 Abel Tasman / Discovery Miscellany:  Click HERE to read it

NEW book on Abel Tasman’s voyages!

Henry Van Zanden, who lives in Sydney, has written several books relating to early European voyages in the context of Australian history, published under his Australia Discovered imprint–website:

His new book is 1642 Abel Tasman. It covers Abel Tasman’s whole life and voyages of exploration, starting within the context of European history, Dutch exploration and commercial expansionism. The New Zealand content (p.87-128) includes analysis of whether Tasman’s crew actually landed in Wainui Bay; the origins of the Ruamahanga skull (a 17th-century female European skull); and the mystery of the Spanish helmet.

It’s an A4 paperback volume (235 pages) heavily illustrated with colour photographs, course reconstructions, and reproductions of historic charts and paintings, and a bibliography (p.232-233).

If you live in New Zealand contact Tinakori Books for a copy: (website: other sales: directly through

Abel Tasman/Discovery Miscellanies: Approximately twice a year a newsletter (“miscellany”) of various items is sent out to an international group who are especially interested in the discovery story of the Pacific Ocean. Email if you’d like to be on the distribution list.
Now on YouTube: Enjoy the Lutjegast ceremony where Ruamiki is handed over by kaumatua Doug Huria and his whanau to the Abel Tasman Museum. Partly in Dutch, partly in English–CLICK HERE
Unveiling the pounamu at Abel Tasman Museum, Lutjegast (22 September)
At the official opening of the First Encounter 375 commemoration last December, Doug Huria of Ngati Tumatakokiri presented Mayor Ard van der Tuuk (of the Municipality of Grootegast) with a stunning piece of pounamu (greenstone),
which Doug had named Ruamiki after an ancestor. 
On 22 September the pounamu will be unveiled at the Abel Tasman Museum in Lutjegast, completing a wonderful cycle of establishing warm new relationships from the events of 1642.  It was great to hear that Doug and his wife Margaret were being hosted by the Municipality of Grootegast to travel to Holland to be part of that ceremony. They will be accompanied by Todd Huria, their London-based son. It’s a most fitting conclusion to the commemoration.


Portrait of Tasman and his family (?) on loan to Groninger Museum

A portrait in the Nan Kivell collection (National Library of Australia) is currently on loan for a few months to the Groninger Museum in Groningen, Holland.  The work (see below) has been attributed to Jacob Cuyp in 1637, with the subjects being Abel Tasman, his wife and daughter.
However, questions have been asked about the validity of these attributions, and the museum will try to establish if Cuyp did indeed paint it.  It is on display at the museum until 6 January 2019.

Here’s a link to an interesting educational video about the painting on YouTube:


Abel Tasman Miscellany, July 2018

A big catch-up on news… from the ambassador to new books, and remembering Ron Aaron.  Click HERE to read it.


First Encounter 375: A  documentary

Now available on YouTube:  CLICK HERE!

Peter Blasdale’s 47-minute documentary is almost like being there. Over four days, 16-19 December 2017, the community of Golden Bay/Mohua marked New Zealand’s earliest recorded meeting between Maori and European, which took place in 1642, in the bay that 5000 people now call home. It’s a powerful story to tell and the documentary captures that feeling.


Editions of Two Voyages

A New Zealand edition of Dave Horry’s book has now come available. Published by Copy Press in Nelson it is in single-column format with larger illustrations. Price is NZ$44.99 + shipping; order through bookshops or from their website (


A fresh perspective on the first meeting of two peoples … Dave Horry’s Two voyages: The first meeting of Maori and Europeans, and the journeys that led to it.   The text of this significant new work was prepared for, and reflects, the First Encounter 375 commemoration in December — here’s the link to Amazon:


Looking back at First Encounter 375 (16-19 December 2017)

The First Encounter 375 Planning Group is very grateful for the quality and extent of mainstream media coverage of the event at the time.  Below are three major contributions; for a complete list (PDF) >>>  CLICK HERE

(For the FULL First Encounter 375 programme (PDF) >>>  CLICK HERE )

The First Encounter 375 programme planning group at the official opening on Saturday 16 December 2017; left to right: Sage Forest, Robert Jenkin, Grant Knowles, Mairangi Reiher, Dave Horry, Penny Griffith, Barney Thomas. Sage, Dave and Penny are wearing golden “mohua” sashes, and Robert’s praeutien replica (Dutch “small boat”) is in the background.


Recent publications: 

Emeritus Professor Atholl Anderson has sent us his very recent article on Maori colonisation voyaging (Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 47:3, 222-231) CLICK HERE to read it.

Robert Jenkin’s new post about voyaging canoes, “Moana Nui …”  CLICK HERE



The first week of November brought two important launches:

an illustrated children’s book Abel Tasman: Mapping the Southern Lands (by Maria Gill and Marco Ivancic).

Published by Scholastic~~ask your local bookshop, or online through Australian distributor Booktopia:

… and the launch in Golden Bay/Mohua of the full size replica of the Dutch small boat. The original  was a key factor in the events of 19 December 1642 and the replica will feature large in December 2017’s commemoration. It has been created by a local team of home-schooled students and parents, led by Tasman historian, Robert Jenkin, and supported by funding from Tasman District Council.


Background Reading: In 2012, as part of the commemoration of the 370th anniversary, the Netherlands Embassy hosted an important seminar in Nelson, which brought together scholars from the Netherlands and around New Zealand. CLICK HERE for a summary of the presentations and discussion.


First Encounter visitors coming from Tasman’s place:

Rob Zagmaan (Netherlands Ambassador to New Zealand) visited the Abel Tasman Museum in Lutjegast in July, and has sent this photo of the occasion. The museum was opened in 2014.

Rob is pictured here (centre, yellow tie) with a group including Grootegast Mayor Ard van der Tuuk (next to Rob) and Joost Tanasale 3rd from left). Mayor Ard and Joost are part of the 5-person delegation coming to Golden Bay/Mohua for the First Encounter 375 commemoration. We look forward to meeting them when they arrive on 16 December.

Lutjegast (Tasman’s birthplace) is within the municipality of Grootegast, which has a friendly town relationship with Tasman District Council, and Kingston, Tasmania.


First Encounter 375: The voyage begins

Today (14 August 2017) is the 375th anniversary of the day the Heemskerck & Zeehaen sailed from Batavia (now Jakarta) to begin their search for the Great South Land and its untold riches. As we know, his main discoveries were what became known as Tasmania, New Zealand, Tonga and Fiji and their peoples.

Below is a preliminary notice of this year’s events marking the actual anniversary (18/19 December) of the first encounter between Tasman’s crew and Maori resident in Golden Bay/Mohua. We are also marking the 75th anniversary of the establishment of Abel Tasman National Park in 1942 (300th anniversary).  [Notice subsequently removed]

More information on these events will follow as funding and other details are confirmed. Please contact us on if you would like to go on the mailing list for information about the commemoration.


News from Tasmania:

The 375th anniversary commemoration will be marked in Tasmania on Sunday 3 December with a trip to Tasman Bay and a community lunch at the Bangor Wine and Oyster Shed. For more information contact Tom Dunbabin (
The site where Tasman’s ship’s carpenter Pieter Jacobsz swam ashore and planted the VOC flag on that day in December 1642 (and claiming possession) is now on private farmland, but regular trips are held to the site of a 1923 memorial (pictured). The strong Dutch community and a Dutch Consul in Hobart ensure history is remembered, and this year the Tasmanian government is also involved.
We will be keeping in touch with Tom about their events–and they with us about ours. It’s a shared story of discovery.



“Te Owha” (Precious Bequest) Bush, Birds, Beaches–Abel Tasman National Park

@Artbank, 57 Commercial Street, Takaka, during July 2017.

Acknowledging First Encounter 375 (1642-2017)


Music history: Thinking about Abel Tasman’s contribution
No automatic alt text available.Dr Philip Norman is writing a history of New Zealand composers. He recently identified a few major features.
First there’s our distinctive birdsong … and then there are the musical sounds of early Maori in Golden Bay/Mohua. Tasman was the first to describe our indigenous music, in December 1642.

Dr Norman comments:
“Abel Tasman, in the diaries of that time, said they heard some chanting on shore and what sounded like trumpets. They assumed the Maoris were giving them a welcoming concert. So they started singing a few bawdy Dutch sailors songs and tooted their trumpet, but what the Dutch were hearing was the Maori haka and the trumpet sound was probably the war trumpet calling all the tribes around.
“The next morning, all was revealed that it wasn’t a concert, but a challenge. To me, that is a prime example of music not being a universal language.”

Image is of a putatara (conch trumpet) in the collection of Te Papa. The putatara is the centre feature of our FE375 logo.


Whakamaharatanga toru rau ma whitu tekau ma rima — Commemoration 375

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Changing perspectives upon Māori colonisation voyaging

Changing perspectives upon Māori colonisation voyaging, by Atholl Anderson

Changing perspectives upon Maori colonisation voyaging

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Moana Nui, Mass Migration and Triangular Men

In 1996, in Making Peoples, Belich wrote that if Polynesian navigators could travel from some possible Hawaiki to New Zealand and then back again they were “in danger of becoming deified rather than merely superhuman”. Even the vikings, he observed, never managed “more than a thousand or so kilometres in one hop”. And he went on to say “repeated intercourse” between New Zealand and tropical Polynesia could safely be dismissed on current evidence because return voyages were “not very credible for New Zealand”. He left himself a bit of wriggle room though with this caveat: “It may be that the Great Fleet, or at least a Little Fleet, will strike back.” (pp.32-33).

In 2015 Atholl Anderson argued in  Tangata Whenua that New Zealand’s  Polynesian colonists had not come here in any such deliberate migration after prior two way voyages. Like Belich he considered that the waka and the sailing rigs available to them could not have made such return voyages and like Belich he pointed out that objects of New Zealand origin have not yet turned up at their likely starting points in Polynesia. So not a lot seemed to have changed in twenty years, except perhaps in our imaginations: one of the biggest movies to come out last year, Moana, focuses on Polynesian voyagers.

Two years ago I speculated in a thread here, Kupe’s sails, that sail-capable double-hulled waka using prop-masted oceanic-lateen sails may have been written of and drawn by Dutch in Golden Bay in 1642. Geoff Irwin’s reconstruction of the Anaweka Waka,  part of which is now in Takaka, shows it rigged with what academic’s call an Oceanic Sprit.

The Anaweka Waka is reportedly made of New Zealand Matai and was last used according to radiocarbon dating around 1400CE. I’ve wondered if such a waka, by the 15th century, might have been tongiaki rigged as shown below, its owners having learned this rig from Tongans in Samoa and the Cooks during a phase of two way voyaging that lasted from perhaps as early as the 12th until perhaps the outset of the 15th century.

This is because I think, as others do, that return voyages from here to the ‘Hawaiiki Zone’ were possible and even probable. New texts that bear on this have very recently become available.

One, out this year, is based on the remains of early waka in New Zealand. By Irwin, Johns and others, it is a ‘Review of Archaeological Māori Canoes (Waka)’ which ‘Reveals Changes in Sailing Technology and Maritime Communications in Aotearoa/New Zealand, AD 1300–1800’. Through time, it tells us there was a prevailing shift from multihulls to monohulls and general decline in the sailing performance of New Zealand waka. New types developed that were suited best for paddling and sailing downwind. But at first settlement, waka which sailed better were apparently predominant. This academic text is not yet free to read online. But I link here to two that are, and I investigate Moana, with its vastly greater audience.

An academic text published online less than two months ago is titled Mass Migration and the Polynesian Settlement of New Zealand. In this Walter et al fulfill that Belich prophesy that the Great Fleet hypothesis may yet strike back. Look into it, using the link above; I will return to it.

Another paper that I only read quite recently though it emerged in 2009 is called TRIANGULAR MEN ON ONE VERY LONG VOYAGE: THE CONTEXT AND IMPLICATIONS OF A HAWAIIAN-STYLE PETROGLYPH SITE IN THE POLYNESIAN KINGDOM OF TONGA. I like the way this partially enlarges our East Polynesian triangle, the one in which New Zealand, far to the southwest, got settled last. It does this through a close examination of anthropomorphs, carved human figures who do really look triangular. That surfer, carved into a rocky outcrop on a Tongan beach apparently around the 14th century, is food for thought.

Triangular men and women in Hawaii and the Tongan archipelago. Figures i and k are seen as surfers, f and h are turtles,  e and g are transformational, either humans changing to  turtle form or turtles to human. Compare these with the turtle on the Anaweka waka.


Disney’s Moana may determine how the voyaging canoes of Polynesians are perceived by most people for years to come. And that might not be such a bad thing; it’s a good movie in lots of ways and I believe its images and words are worth considering alongside those of the two papers mentioned in the two preceding paragraphs.

“We read the wind and the sky
When the sun is high
We sail the length of the seas
On the ocean breeze
At night we name every star
We know where we are
We know who we are, who we are

Aue, aue,
We set a course to find
A brand new island everywhere that we roam
Aue, aue,
We keep our island in our mind
And when it’s time to find home
We know the way”

Opetaia Tavita Foa’i, who helped to write this song, grew up in Samoa and   Tokelau. A lot of modern Polynesians  don’t see European sea-farers like the vikings as the best early open ocean voyagers, they see their own peoples that way, and may be justified in doing so, since while the vikings hugged the icy north Atlantic and explored the waterways of Eastern Europe, East Polynesians found and occupied Hawaii, Easter Island and New Zealand.

This plate from Triangular Men shows us the scale of that, and like the vikings those who made such voyages needed good ships.

The waka in Moana’s fleet have oceanic lateen looking sails, not oceanic spritsails. But are they tongiaki rigged? The tongiaki rigs below were drawn by two Dutch artists, one on Eendracht in 1616 and one on Heemskerck in 1643.

The model, clearly partly based on the Dutch images, resembles voyaging canoes seen in Moana in at least some ways.

As shown here they have fork topped masts; true oceanic lateen sails were hauled up to meet such forks and held down at the front against the prow of the main hull. This differs from the tongiaki where the crutch mast fork cradles the upper spar and the front of the sail floats between two prows of equal size. As reconstructed in Te Papa’s model the crutch mast appears to remain fixed within one hull, though I can’t work out how the sail can be raised and lowered if thats the case.

As Dave Horry and I interpret the crutch mast it was simply lifted into place on the top deck, and so could change its angle as the sail trim changed.


Moana’s largest waka have raised decks on widely spaced hulls but their masts seem permanently steppd inside one larger hull.

A rig like this seems close to that of the Fijian ndrua, (double) or camakau (outrigger) canoes of the 19th century. These had true oceanic lateen rigs, and so were shunted through the wind, not tacked across it. The fork topped masts, which pivoted towards whichever end became the front, also allowed the sail to pivot round the mast

Voyaging canoe, Fiji Islands, Atlas Pittoresque 1846

Such lateen rigs did not exist in the ‘Hawaiiki Zone’ before the 15th century. But tongiaki rigs, their ancient predecessors, evidently did. So if we saw Moana’s voyaging canoes as tongiaki rigged, they might be closer to reality than are the current academic suppositions that East Polynesian voyagers had nothing better than the oceanic sprit.

In closeups the Moana waka seem extremely fast, as was the camakau above, and certainly they sail across the wind. They even do so rather recklessly, I think, manning and womanning large outriggers as if competing for the Polynesias Cup.

It’s generally held by academics that East Polynesians in pre-European times used only two spars to support each sail, one of which functioned as a mast. Here is a Herb Kane painting of a double waka with two such oceanic spritsails.

When working reconstructions of such polynesian voyaging canoes were built, beginning with the Hōkūle‘a in the 1970s, they often used two of these spritsails, as does New Zealand’s  Te Aurere shown below.

This rig seems to have many modern influences. Each ‘spritsail’ has effectively a separate mast onto which one of the two spars has been secured.

The one large  double waka Cook encountered in New Zealand wasn’t rigged this way.

Maori double hulled war canoe with oceanic sprit rig, 1769

It looked like this. We don’t know if these spars crossed at some point or not. It doesn’t look that way, but tests have shown an oceanic spritsail works better if they do.


In this, an actual Maori sail Cook collected here, they might have crossed, perhaps as indicated here, or they might not. But could a sail and spars like these have sailed across the wind? This seems more like a temporary rig that you could keep in place with ropes to catch a following wind and very little else.



Lets look now at the smaller waka which Moana sails herself. It’s sail definitely isn’t used here as an oceanic lateen or tongiaki rig – instead in this configuration it appears to be a modern oceanic spritsail.

And it’s quite versatile; see it racing here, apparently across the wind, with Maui at the helm.

And here we see that like the other waka in Moana this one has a fixed and fork topped mast.

But a mast mounted at the front, not centrally. So if the upright spar was lifted from the mast and then suspended at a central point from the mast’s fork, and if the ‘tack’ where the spars meet was held against the prow this rig would almost match those of Moana’s other waka as seen earlier. It couldn’t shunt, because the mast is at the front, but set up that way it would certainly suggest the tongiaki rig.

In Mass Migration and the Polynesian Settlement of New Zealand it’s suggested that New Zealand’s Polynesian settlers came in a substantial fleet from a ‘Hawaiiki zone’. This zone included the Cook Islands, which as Triangular Men suggests was well within the zone known to the tongiaki waka of the Tuʻi Tonga Empire.

Location of the Hawaiiki Zone from which New Zealand’s first Polynesian settlers originated.

In Mass Migration the authors go on to say: “this was a planned migration, based on prior knowledge of the location of New Zealand, and it involved a number of interacting communities within a zone of regular interaction in central East Polynesia. Not only was the migration planned and led by capable leaders, but the colonisation of New Zealand itself was efficient and rapidly executed. The essential strategy of the colonists seems to have been to reproduce the social and economic structures of Hawaiiki in the new land. As in tropical East Polynesia, this involved the establishment of a communication network linking communities on an expanding colonial frontier. … Archaeological investigation will probably never tell us about individual motives, ideological drivers or the role of visionary chiefs in the migration and colonisation of New Zealand. But these are precisely the issues that oral tradition addresses and it is now time to take a more nuanced and critical look at these traditions in order to further our understanding of migration, colonisation, and the relationship between early New Zealand and Hawaiiki society.”

The fleet is back. Moana will not be at all surprised.





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Blok fragment’s ‘View of Murderers Bay’ and SAC’s equivalent

Robert Jenkin writes:

The SAC was evidently one of several Tasman Journals made in Batavia during the second half of 1643. More than one evidently reached the Netherlands in 1644 since on December 22nd 1643 The Council of The Indies signed a report with accompanying “daily registers kept by the aforesaid Tasman and the Pilot-major Francois Jacobsen Visscher, the said registers pertinently showing the winds and the courses held, and faithfully delineating the aspect and trend of the coasts, and the outward figure of the natives, etc” (Heeres (Life, p.145). Presumably at least another one stayed in Batavia. Wallace believes that six were sent “back to the six Dutch provinces that supported the VOC”. If so and with at least one staying in Batavia, seven or more such copies were produced. Sharp guesses that the copied illustrations of the SAC went into spaces left for them by the text copyist (pp. 54, 56). It’s also possible that Heemskerck’s draughtsman wrote his own captions on other leaves like Blok and then in 1643, back in Batavia, was textual copyist and illustrator of the SAC, there copying and improving his own art with editorial advice. If so, he then left spaces for the finely written labelling and captions Anderson sees as done by Gilsemans.

Continue reading

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A different theory to explain Blok fragment and its provenance

Robert Jenkin writes:

What we now now know as the Blok fragment is a single leaf of paper slightly less than A3 in size with ink and wash drawings on both sides. It is held in the Netherlands State Archives and online photos of it there can be seen here

In Abel Tasman in New Zealand Waters; The Pictorial Record, an article R.D.J. Collins published in the Bulletin of New Zealand Art History in 1991, Collins convincingly suggests that the Blok versions of the illustrations shown above are the originals from which those in the SAC were later  copied – I agree and discuss Collins’ observations further in a later post.

If we accept the Blok versions as the originals, what were their origin and purpose?

Blok seems to have had more exposure to the elements than SAC. Side one of Blok is numbered 21, suggesting it was once one of a set of numbered leaves. So was it part of such another illustrated text as SAC, all of whose other pages are now lost, as Heeres supposed, or could it be the last remaining leaf of all the illustrations drawn on Heemskerck by her designated artist (tekenaar)? Storage in a small warship during such an expedition could explain Blok’s weatherworn condition. For me this seems the likeliest theory based on the existing evidence, at least until more academic scholarship and perhaps some scientific testing can be brought to bear on Blok. Some of my reasons for believing that the drawings in it and in SAC are not the work of Gilsemans appear in my preceding post Van Diemen and his Councillors did not put all their artists in one barque and some on this page, Gilsemans’ earlier art.

Continue reading

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Which waka was the subject of the sketch for ‘Murderers Bay’?

Robert Jenkin writes:

In Traditional Maori Dress: Recovery of a Seventeenth–Century Style? Wallace has shown convincingly the documentary value of the close-up waka and its Maori  crew, as seen below in SAC and Blok alternatives.

From where and at what time was this large double waka sketched in such detail? Which of the waka mentioned in the text might it have been?

Continue reading

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Van Diemen and his Councillors did not put all their artists in one barque

Robert Jenkin writes:

In 1898 Dutch Scholar J.E.Heeres produced, in Dutch and English versions, an edited edition of the State Archives Copy of the Tasman Journal (SAC) called Tasman’s Journal of his Discovery of Van Diemen’s Land and New Zealand in 1642, with documents relating to his exploration of Australia in 1644.

This work, which includes varied documents and essays, is online. In one important section, Heeres’ essay Abel Janszoon Tasman: His life and labours, he argues  Gilsemans was probably the expedition’s primary draughtsman (page 107): “As ‘supercargo’ in the Zeehaen we find Isaack Gilsemans. He was most probably the ‘draughtsman’ mentioned in the Instructions, who had been directed to join the expedition”. Continue reading

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First Encounter 375 — May Newsletter

CLICK HERE for the latest Abel Tasman Miscellany–mainly about plans for  First Encounter 375. You can receive the “miscellany” newsletters automatically; email your details to

First Encounter 375 — a special logo as planning begins 

Yes, the 375th anniversary of the dramatic “first encounter” between tangata whenua (Maori, who first settled New Zealand) and another people takes place on 18 December.

In collaboration with Manawhenua ki Mohua, artist Robin Slow has created a striking logo with deep significance (explained below).

(Whakamaharatanga toru rau ma whitu tekau ma rima = Commemoration 375)


  1. The two manu (birds) forms on either side represent Mohua and Tasman. Mohua is the name of Golden Bay and the name of a manu, and one of the stories that come through tell of a large white bird coming into the area (the ships with the “flapping” of the sails).
  2. The manu have four koru, for the manawhenua plus three mata waka of the area.
  3. The putatara in the central portion describes the conflict between the land (mouthpiece) representing Tane and the sea (shell) representing Tangaroa, bound together by pingao the peace maker. The instrument was a feature in the communications between Tasman and the iwi. Hence the message it conveys.

Tasman’s time in New Zealand waters, which also included the first Christmas (sheltering behind Rangitoto/d’Urville Island) was from 13 December 1642, when land was first sighted, to 6 January 1643 when the voyagers named Three Kings Islands as they left to sail north towards Tonga and Fiji. 

Golden Bay/Mohua representatives Mairangi Reiher (Manawhenua ki Mohua) and Penny Griffith recently attended the Netherlands Embassy King’s Day celebration in Wellington. Penny (left) and Mairangi (centre) are shown here with Monique Zaagman-Bos, the ambassador’s wife, in front of a tiled reproduction of the well-known image from Tasman’s journal, showing  the events of 18/19 December.

Ambassador and Mrs Zaagman will be in Golden Bay/Mohua for this year’s main commemoration which will run from 16 to 19 December 2017.  Details to follow:  please email to receive information as plans evolve.


A winner!  Robert Jenkin’s model of Tasman’s 1642 “small boat”

Robert Jenkin (on the right) with two crew and the cardboard scale model “Praeutien” (small boat) referred to in Tasman’s account of the events of 18/19 December 1642.  “Praeutien” was first across the line and also won the senior best technical design award in the 2016 Cardboard Boat Race held annually at Tata Beach, in Golden Bay/Mohua.

“Praeutien” is an extra string to Robert’s Tasman “bow” — his diorama and interactive are part of the rich displays at Golden Bay Museum, along with his book Strangers in Mohua. The boat race win (on 29 January) feels highly appropriate in this 375th year of remembering that “first encounter” and the meeting of two worlds.

13 praeutien--ed

Images from the Ambassador’s visit 17/18 December 2016

 Planning dinner, Saturday 17th:  An extremely important meeting with broad representation from all the significant partners:  Ambassador Rob Zaagman, Manawhenua ki Mohua (Mairangi Reiher, Deen Myers), Mayor Richard Kempthorne (Tasman District Council) and Cr Paul Sangster, Dept of Conservation (Richard Struthers, Neil Murray), Geoff Rennison (Board Member, Golden Bay Museum), Robert Jenkin (historian), Sacha Horton (Dutch community).



 Abel Tasman Mimg_3606-largeonument, Sunday 18 December (374th anniversary): Richard Struthers (DOC) spoke about plans to significantly upgrade the site and monument, while Researcher Dave Horry talked about the actual events and location of the anchorage. Ambassador Zaagman made a strong personal commitment to being in Golden Bay/Mohua on the anniversary in years to come–but especially for the 375th anniversary in 2017.




Floor talks at Golden Bay Museum, Sunday 18 December:  The ambassador spoke about the importance of continuing to build on the relationship between two peoples, and Dave Horry put the details of the confrontation into the context of communication, protocols and expectations, which were so different for the Dutch sailors and tangata whenua


Honoured by Ambassador’s visit for First Meeting Day (AT374) events

Golden Bay/Mohua welcomes ambassador Rob Zaagman and Monique Zaagman to this year’s commemoration of First Meeting Day (or Abel Tasman 374). This may be the first time since 1942 that an official representative of the Netherlands has been here on the actual date of when Tasman’s ships sailed in the Bay, on 18 December 1642.

Our activities this year have been affected by the tides, so there won’t be a walk to Taupo Point this year. It’s been very popular in the past, so we hope it will be right for the 375th anniversary next year.


Mayor of Tasman District Council meets Dutch royals

Residents of Tasman District–where the 1642  “First Meeting” took place in what is now Golden Bay/Mohua–are proud that their mayor Richard Kempthorne and his wife Jane were invited to be guests at the recent state dinner for the Dutch King and Queen in Wellington.

Not only did the honour reinforce the already strong link between Tasman District and the Grootegast municipality (close to Abel Tasman’s birthplace), but it also created a wider recognition of the significance of Tasman’s voyage in New Zealand’s documented heritage record. Here’s an account from a local newspaper:


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What happened to the 4th Dutch sailor after 19 December 1642?

Professor Richard Woolley brings his film-making skills to the world of words. His new novel Stranger Love builds on the facts recorded in Tasman’s journal to create a gripping story that begins in Amsterdam and ends in a Maori settlement where Jakob is enslaved. But how does the story end?  Read it!

Order from your bookshop (New Zealand RRP is $29.99 for the paperback) — or from a supplier online: The Nile or Fishpond (for hardcopies) and Amazon for the e-version.


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Netherlands Ambassador’s visit

Ambassador Rob Zaagman,  with his wife Monique and sister Ingrid, came to Golden Bay/Mohua on Saturday 5 March. Following a powhiri (formal welcome) at Onetahua Marae, they spent some time getting to know more about Abel Tasman National Park with DOC staffer Neil Murray.
The picture shows (from left to right): Neil Murray, Monique Zaagman, Ambassador Rob Zaagman, and Ingrid Zaagman at the Abel Tasman Monument above Ligar Bay. The monument was built in 1942, as part of the 300th commemoration of the first recorded meeting (18/19 December 1642) between Maori and people of another race.
Plans for the 375th anniversary in 2017 include three large information panels at the memorial, to explain the events and background. The panels are being developed by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, which is responsible for the 20 national monuments (12 in New Zealand, 8 overseas).
 05--Abel Tasman Memorial--with Neil Murray
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