21 December 2017

First Encounter at 1 News

New Zealand Channel '1 News' reports on the range of activities that marked the anniversary of when Maori and European explorers first met at the top of the South Island 375 years ago. Their report by Kaitlin Ruddock below.

The historic meeting was marked at the site it took place in Golden Bay, with a visit from the descendants of the iwi who first met Abel Tasman's crew in a fiery exchange.

School students and locals re-enacted the fight between part of Abel Tasman's crew and Maori which led to the deaths of four sailors.

"They started off on the wrong foot, there was a fight, but these few days have been about healing and understanding each other and coming together," Dutch Ambassador Robert Zaagman told 1 NEWS.

The ambassador, along with a contingent from the Netherlands, travelled to Golden Bay to retrace the path of the Dutch seafarer who put New Zealand on the world map.

<p>The pounamu and kete presented by Doug Huria (Ngati Tumatakokiri) to the Mayor of Grootgast,&nbsp;Abel Tasman&#39;s home town. Photo by First Encounter 375.</p>

The pounamu and kete presented by Doug Huria (Ngati Tumatakokiri) to the Mayor of Grootgast, Abel Tasman's home town. Photo by First Encounter 375.

The Dutch weren't the only ones welcomed back to the region, with the original descendants of the iwi who met Tasman, Ngati Tumatakokiri, being formally acknowledged for the first time by the manawhenua of the area.

"To be here today, 2017, talking to the Dutch ambassador and going for a bumpy ride to Farewell Spit with six Dutchmen around me. It was tumeke," Doug Huria said.

The Dutch visitors were given a large piece of greenstone to take back with them to commemorate the occasion.

Photo left taken from Facebookpage First Encounter 375: Doug Huria on the left (Ngati Tumatakokiri) and Harke Bosma on the right (From Grootgast, Abel Tasman's home town). This picture was taken at the location that Ngati Tumatakokiri first saw the Dutch ships appear out of the darkness on the morning of 17 december 1642. It was taken on the clifftops of Cape Farewell on the day of the 375th anniversary of that event: 17th December 2017.