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The Exploration of New Zealand

Notes on the Sources

page 191

Notes on the Sources

A clear and honest account of New Zealand exploration was given by W. Howitt in The History of the Discovery of Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand (London, 1865). He made good use of official reports but said little about the early missionaries and perhaps too much about the efforts to link Canterbury and the West Coast. For a more modern introduction to the subject there is The Pioneer Explorers of New Zealand (London, 1929) by J. R. Elder.

1. Missionaries

The Letters and Journals of Samuel Marsden (Dunedin, 1932) and Marsden's Lieutenants (Dunedin, 1934), both edited by J. R. Elder, are the standard works on the subject of early missionary endeavour by the Church of England. The activities of the succeeding generation are described in H. Carleton's Life of Henry Williams (Auckland, 1874); in W. Williams's Christianity among the Maoris (London, 1867); in Bishop Selwyn's letters in vol. ii of The Church in the Colonies (London, 1848); in page 192W. Colenso's Excursion in the Northern Island of New Zealand 1841–2 (Launceston, 1844) and The Ruahine Mountain Range (Napier, 1884). Students who have access to the Hocken and Alexander Turnbull libraries may read the original letters, diaries, and reports of the missionaries, but the general reader will prefer the extracts published in those immense repositories of missionary information, the volumes of The Church Missionary Register (London, 1813–48), The Church Missionary Record (London, 1830–48), and The Church Intelligencer (London, 1849–55).

Until the archives of the Wesleyan Missionary Society have been thoroughly searched, those interested in exploration by Wesleyan missionaries must be satisfied with such publications as J. Buller's Forty Years in New Zealand (London, 1878), W. Morley's History of Methodism in New Zealand (Wellington, 1900), and Centenary Sketches of New Zealand Methodism (Christchurch, 1922). The journey of Father Baty to Lake Waikaremoana is described by the Rev. J. Hickson, S.M. in Catholic Missionary Work in Hawke's Bay (Auckland, 1924).

2. Surveyors

Adventure in New Zealand (London, 1845) by E. J. Wakefield gives a graphic picture of travel and exploration after the New Zealand Company began operations. Any original work by the Company's survey parties was described in the New Zealand Journal (London, 1840–52). For exploration in the South Island the Nelson Examiner page 193is the most useful of the contemporary newspapers. It published, on 17 December 1842, Cotterell's diary of his trip from Nelson to the Wairau; between 20 July and 5 October 1844 Dr Monro's notes on Tuckett's expedition to Otago and Southland; and between 30 September and 28 October 1848 Brunner's diary of his wanderings on the West Coast. A good account of Brunner's famous expedition appeared in the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society (1850) and another version with more detail was printed by Charles Elliott of Nelson in 1848. Many of the reports from Captain Stokes and J. W. Hamilton of H.M.S. Acheron were published in the New Zealand Journal; the important report on Southland was published in the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society (1851). Some of the diaries of J. W. Hamilton are in the Public Record Office, London; an incomplete diary of Captain Stokes is in the Hocken Library, Dunedin. The letters sent by Captain Stokes to the Admiralty were part of a section which unfortunately has been destroyed. F. Tuckett's diary of his expedition to select the site of the New Edinburgh settlement is printed in Dr Hocken's Contributions to the Early History of New Zealand (London, 1898).

In the provincial era if the work was considered important it was published in the Gazette of the province concerned. J. T. Thomson's report on the north-east and interior of Otago in 1857–8 appeared in vol. iii, James McKerrow's reports on his Lake survey, 1862–3, in vols. v and vi of the Otago Provincial Gazette. The page 194 Journal of the Royal Geographical Society (1858) contains J. T. Thomson's report on Southland, that of 1859 J. Rochfort's account of his surveys on the West Coast, that of 1864 J. McKerrow's description of the Lake district of Otago. Since the abolition of the provinces the best official source has been the reports of the Survey Department in the Appendices to the Journal of the House of Representatives. In them readers can find the delightful reports on the remote valleys of south Westland by G. Mueller and C. E. Douglas.

3. Native Affairs

Edward Shortland's The Southern Districts of New Zealand (London, 1857) is the classic work relating to South Island Maoris and whalers of the period 1843–4. W. B. D. Mantell's diaries in the Alexander Turnbull Library are another source, and most important of all is Native Affairs in the South Island (vol. i, Wellington, 1873; vol. ii, Nelson, 1872) compiled by Alexander Mackay. The expeditions made by James Mackay to purchase the Arahura block (Westland) are most accurately outlined in Rambles on the Golden Coast of New Zealand (London, 1886) by R. C. Reid.

4. Sheepfarmers

The local newspapers are again a source of information. Readers who do not wish to undertake laborious research should read A First Year in Canterbury Settlement (London, 1863) by Samuel Butler, A Surveyor in New page 195Zealand (Christchurch, 1932) edited by Noeline Baker, and R. B. Paul's Letters from Canterbury, New Zealand (London, 1857). Mitchell and Dashwood's journey from Nelson to Canterbury was described in the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society (1851) and in the New Munster Gazette, 5 August 1850. Accounts of the romantic expeditions to the Lake country of Otago and Southland were fortunately collected by H. Beattie and may be read in his Pioneer Recollections (vols. i-iii, Gore, 1909-18). The most reliable and most comprehensive statement about Mackenzie, the sheep stealer, is in George Rhodes of the Levels and his Brothers (Christchurch, 1937) by A. E. Woodhouse.

5. Scientists

J. C. Bidwill's Rambles in New Zealand (London, 1841) and Dr E. Dieffenbach's Travels in New Zealand (London, 1843) deal with the interior of the North Island. For W. B. D. Mantell's geological survey of north Otago the best source is the Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society (1850). The many important expeditions undertaken by Sir Julius von Haast are systematically outlined in his Geology of Canterbury and Westland (Christchurch, 1879). The Otago Daily Times, 9–18 February, 19–20 March 1863 contains excellent articles describing the expedition of Sir James Hector from Lake Wanaka to the Arawata river, and the Otago Provincial Gazette, vol. vi, contains a full report of his expedition from Martin's Bay to Lake Wakatipu. Useful articles by page 196Hector and von Haast appeared in the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society (1864).

6. Gold-Miners

The Otago newspapers are the chief source for information about explorers such as P. Q. Caples, C. Cameron, and A. J. Barrington. The Lake Wakatip Mail during the mining boom was probably the most romantic newspaper published in New Zealand. In the same period the Lyttelton Times and the Christchurch Press recorded in great detail the efforts which led to the discovery of Arthur's pass and Browning pass. For a racy account of life on the West Coast goldfields there is a somewhat rare publication, Knocking about New Zealand (Melbourne, 1871) by C. L. Money.

7. Mountaineers

The alpine classics relating to exploration are The High Alps of New Zealand (London, 1884) by W. S. Green, With Axe and Rope in the New Zealand Alps (London, 1891) by G. E. Mannering, Pioneer Work in the Alps of New Zealand (London, 1896) by A. P. Harper, and Climbs in the New Zealand Alps (London, 1896) by E. A. FitzGerald. The latest publication is Unclimbed New Zealand (London, 1939) by J. D. Pascoe. The work of J. T. Holloway and others in west Otago is described in the New Zealand Alpine Journal and that of the Canterbury Mountaineering Club in The Canterbury Mountaineer.

page 197

8. Illustrations

The frontispiece Exploring Party (1849) from an original crayon drawing by C. Clarke in the Mitchell Library, Sydney, shows Sir George Grey and party crossing a swamp at Matamata, North Island. Thanks are due to the Committee of the Mitchell Library for permission to reproduce this drawing. Lake Waikaremoana (p. 54) is from a photograph by H. Farmer McDonald. The map of the North Island (p. 62) was drawn for this survey by W. G. Harding of Wellington. The Matakitaki Valley (p. 68) is from an original water-colour painting by Sir William Fox in the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington; painted on 20 February 1846, this work was described as being 'In the Aghonby, or Matukituki Valley—looking into the Otapawa' (Buller district). The sketch map of the Southern Lakes (p. 114) was redrawn by W. G. Harding from a rough tracing of W. B. D. Mantell's map showing his coastal routes in 1848 and 1851–2 and C. J. Nairn's route in January 1852. The Hollyford Valley (p.144) is from an aerial photograph by V. C. Browne. Lake McKerrow and the sea are shown in the distance. The sketches Mount Victor and Okuru Valley and The Ark and Andy Glacier (p. 176) are from originals by Charles Douglas in the William Wilson collection, Turnbull Library. The map of the South Island (p. 188) was drawn by W. G. Harding.

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Owing to an editorial oversight, it has been found necessary to insert this leaf before the first page of the Index.