Chatham Islands History
The history of the Chatham Islands goes back to around 1500 when the islands were first inhabited by the Polynesian Moriori people.
Chatham Islands History Overview
The last major Pacific Islands to be settled, the Chatham Islands are thought to have been first occupied by Polynesians about 800 to 1000 years ago. In isolation they developed a unique culture and became a people who call themselves Moriori. They named their island home Rekohu, and developed a sacred covenant of peace, which has remained unbroken for 600 years – a world record for peace keeping!
The Chatham Islands were discovered by Europeans in 1791 by the English ship HMS Chatham. European settlement dates from the early 1800's with sealers, then whalers and farmers.
Later Ngati Tama and Ngati Mutunga arrived, and made their home on these islands they called Wharekauri. Merging their heritage and living together on this remote outpost; these people are the Chatham Islanders.
Useful Chatham Islands Links
To help plan your Chatham Islands holiday choose from the main categories below:
Chatham Islands Region Information
Key information and facts about the Chatham Islands.
Major activities and attractions on the Chatham Islands.