Before Captain Cook

Reported in the May 28 Coastal News is an article about the book, Captain Cook's Epic Voyage.

The review starts: Captain James Cook these days is no longer seen as the 'discoverer of New Zealand'.

There was a time in New Zealand when school children were taught the first European to find New Zealand was Abel Tasman, in December 1642. For whatever reason some in New Zealand want this historical event written out of our history.


However, with the aid of very early European world maps it is clear Europeans had found their way here in earlier times.

The 1491 Martellus map, the 1507 Waldseemuller map and the 1530 Apian world map all show China, Australia and New Zealand. These maps are on display in my book Voyagers To The Ends of The Earth New Zealand's First Encounters, published in March 2019. The book can be obtained from local book shops.

These early world maps show no such place as Terra Australia Incognita.

Some years ago the British Admiralty sent a copy of one its early maps to New Zealand so historians could correct British history. The Admiralty makes it very clear that Captain Cook was not the first European to land in New Zealand.