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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Abel Tasman 18 December 1642. Shots Fired:

It is now some 372 years since Dutchman Abel Janszoon Tasman made the first European approach to New Zealand and engaged in the first known armed fighting against Maori warriors.

Ship Zeehaen.

Tasman sailing on his flagship The Heemskerck together with the armed transport Zeehaen first sighted land in the West Coast of the South Island on December 13 1642.

On 18th December they were off-shore at Golden Bay when two Maori waka (canoes) approached and challenged them - blowing sea-shell trumpets - Tasmans crew replied by blowing their trumpets and firing a cannon before the Maori (warriors from Ngati Tumatakokiri tribe) returned to land.

- Next day seven canoes came out to the Dutch vessels and one waka rammed a small ships boat and in the fighting four Dutch crewmen were killed with clubs. The ships fought-off the attack using swords, pikes, and muskets and firing their cannon.

17th Century Ships Cannon.
- As they weighed anchor and set sail to depart - eleven maori canoes came out and Tasmans Crew fired upon them hitting the lead canoe and one man with canister shot. - Tasman named the area Moordenaers Bay.

Moordenaers (Murderers) Bay. Anchored in 15 Fathoms of water 1642.
- 372 years ago - score : NZ Maori  4 - Holland 1.
Today, this part of the South Island, now called Golden Bay and The Abel Tasman Park still get plenty of overseas visitors who enjoy the canoeing - and maybe visit Nelson Pistol Club.
Sea canoeing Abel Tasman Park - Golden Bay.
Marty K.