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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 2 (May 1, 1937)

The Dutch Of It

The Dutch Of It.

“And to get closer to home, my researches in the realms of subterfuge prove delusively that New Zealand was discovered by a Dutch towing company—probably the one that tugged Wellington's floating dock from old England. Mind you, I am not decrying Maui's fishing feat in pulling up New Zealand on a string. After all, the Maoris didn't have the educational advantages offered by Professors Ananias and Jonah; and I could have told them a thing or six m'self. I have it on the most unauthentic authority that the Dutch found New Zealand floating about the Antarctic while they were towing up icebergs for the Chilean ice-cream industry. Thinking that it would come in handy for filling up the Zuider Zee, which was Holland's chief farming problem on account of its entire lack of land, they took it in tow. But they hadn't gone far when they ran into a snifter, or a cold schnapps as it is called in the Dutch. So they anchored New Zealand while they went home for a couple of Flying Dutchmen to help them out. While they were away it broke into three pieces. And I might say that no one need fear the few little quivers we get at times, for it's only the anchors dragging a mite. When Abel Tasman got back to plant the national cheese and thus claim New Zealand for Holland he found that it was inhabited by Polly Nesian and her family who looked as though they were not so fond of cheese. So Tasman sailed home to his old Dutch. He was tough but the Maoris didn't look fussy. I could give you a heap more hocustorical facts that would surprise you. Why,” said Mr. Goof, “I even surprise m'self at times.”

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