Voyage and discovery in the PacificTe rerenga, te kitenga i te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa

The history of the discovery of Aotearoa New Zealand goes back a millennium and contains the stories of many fine explorers, from Kupe to Cook.

Pacific tūpuna of Māori first journeyed to this whenua 800–900 years ago. Following this were toro by two notable Europeans: some 400 years later, in 1642, when Abel Tasman became the first European to visit our shores, and then, in 1769, when Captain James Cook and his Endeavour landed near what is now known as Gisborne. These encounters have fuelled conflicting and complicated histories.

Here, explore Pacific exploration and European colonisation through our taongakōrero, and events.

European voyagers