Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Cook's Map of the South Island

You've seen this here before. Tim Wraight worked on it a little bit, and it is a strong, impressive piece. Warren Viscoe had a copy of the map of the South Island drawn by Captain Cook when he carved this. The big bumps are Southern Alps, and the two prongs at the top are Marlborough Sounds. Nelson is in the flat bit to the left of the Sounds and our Takaka Hills don't feature on this map.

Today is Waitangi Day, a day symbolizing (because it didn't all happen in one day) the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, an agreement between Maori and the English Crown for the loan/purchase of many parts of New Zealand. Whether they agreed to loaning/allowing residence, or purchasing/selling of the land depends on the version of the Treaty you read, because in 1884 Maori had no concept of private land ownership. As a sometime-translator, I find the difference in Maori (since translated into English) and the English (written at the time of signing) versions utterly dismaying.

Some years, Waitaingi Day has focused on Maori grievances and demonstrations; other years, especially in the last few years, there have been moves to celebrate what's becoming a diverse nation. In election years, as this year, it can be politicized with spin talks bandied about, but I think it's a day to commemorate two different groups coming together in relative peace. Maybe when I'm really gray and old, Waitangi Day will be a happy occasion similar to Fourth of July or Bastille Day.


  1. Very interesting, I will seek more about it!

  2. An unusual kind of sculpture...interesting info about Captain Cook's map.


Thanks for taking your time to comment! If you have trouble seeing word verification, you can get another one by clicking little circle. Make sure you separate two words with space. We also welcome for any comment on our facebook page.
We have reserve a rights to remove comments include link to ads and spam without any notice.