Golden Bay has some interesting history so take time while visiting to visit the museums in Takaka and Collingwood or read about the history of Abel Tasman and the Maori Heritage of Golden Bay here.
The man chosen to command the expedition, Abel Janszoon Tasman, was born in Holland. By 1642 he already had years of experience sailing in north-west Pacific and Asian waters in the service of the Dutch East India Company.
Tasman, Visscher & Isaac Gilsemans had been together in Japan when the Dutch were establishing a trading post there.
Working for a company which was more interested in increasing profits than knowledge, Tasman was the servant of a a businessman's empire.
When Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sailed into New Zealand waters and came upon this "large and highly elevated land", he was looking for a great southern continent.
For centuries many had imagined such a land mass in the southern ocean between Australia and South America. The voyage was organised by the Dutch East India Company, looking for opportunities to expand its wealth.
Fred Tyree, and his brother William, were professional photographers who recorded the colonial development of the Nelson region for fifty years from 1878.
Fred Tyree lived in Golden Bay and his photographs are featured at Aorere Centre, Collingwood. The Tyree Studio glass plate negatives are of national significance and are held at the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mataurangao Aotearoa and the Nelson Provincial Museum Pupuri Taonga Te Tai Ao.
While in Takaka make sure you visit the Museum, located in the shopping centre.
You'll be quickly drawn to the beautifully crafted diorama depicting Abel Tasman's 1642 encounter with local Maori. An educational book detailing this encounter is available for sale at the museum. Wander around displays on Maori and European history of this region. You'll be surprised at the range of material in these and other regular changing displays.
It was at the hands of Tumatakokiri, the tribe which was in occupation at the time, that four of Abel Tasman's men met their death. Several theories have been advanced to explain this tragedy that Tasman's men had unwittingly rowed into waters which were tapu (sacred) or had a rahui (ban) placed on them; that these strange white men in strange ships with strange ways (dress, muskets etc.) were taniwha who had to be chased away.
For example the names Takaka and Motueka have probably persisted for centuries as place names in the district; Ta'a'a and Motue'a are a few miles apart on the island of Raiatea in the Tahitian group, believed to be the Hawaiki of several of the "Fleet Canoes" of the Maori migrations. A legend about a taniwha (monster) called Kaiwhakaruaki which was once the scourge of Parapara Inlet, has local variants in several other districts of New Zealand, and is found throughout Polynesia.
Today, the iwi of Golden Bay are Manawhenua ki Mohua Ngati Tama, Ngati Rarua and Te Atiawa.
In earlier times this area witnessed waves of Maori invasion and settlement long before the arrival of European immigrants. Ngati Tumata Kokiri were thought to have been here for several hundred years before being displaced by Ngati Apa.
In 1828 the migration of North Island iwi to the South Island took place.
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