NZ Outlying Islands History
The New Zealand Outlying Islands are shrouded by volcanic activity, early settlement attempts and disastrous shipping accidents.
NZ Outlying Islands History Overview
The New Zealand Outlying Islands were mostly formed by volcanic activity many years ago. Many attempts to settle the island groups have occurred over the years by early Polynesian settlers, as well as Europeans in later years, always ending in failure. The Chatham Islands remain the only inhabited islands today.
Chatham Islands History
Formed by ancient volcanic activity, the Chathams were originally inhabited by the Morioris. These people are thought to have arrived some time between 950 AD and 1150 AD. The peace-loving people developed a distinct culture in their relative isolation.
On 29th November 1791, the Chatham Islands were discovered by Lieutenant Broughton in the HM Brig "Chatham". The resident population of the Moriori was estimated to have been approximately 2,000 at this time. Maori settlement soon followed the discovery, and skirmishes between the two peoples saw the Moriori's die out. The last full-blooded Moriori was Tommy Solomon. A memorial to him remains to this day at Manakau.
The Auckland Islands are thought to have been inhabited by Polynesian peoples as early as the 13th century. Rediscovered by a European whaling captain in 1806, the islands were found uninhabited. Attempts to settle the islands in the 19th century failed, and they remain uninhabited today.
The rocky coasts of the Sub-Antarctic Islands has meant several shipping accidents on the islands. In 1866 the General Grant, carrying 58 passengers and 25 crew, became lost in a cave because of fog on Auckland Island's western shore. Only 15 people survived the wreck, five of whom died attempting to reach New Zealand. The 10 survivors were rescued in November 1867.
The Kermadec Islands are thought to have been settled by Polynesian people around the fourteenth century, and possibly earlier also. However when discovered by European explorers in the 1700's there were no inhabitants on the islands.
The islands were named for the French captain Jean-Michel Huon de Kermadec, who visited the islands as part of the d'Entrecasteaux expedition.
European settlers and whalers lived on the islands from the early nineteenth century until 1937.
Today the Kermadec Islands remain completely uninhabited, except for the permanently manned Raoul Island Station, maintained since 1937. The station is a government meteorological and radio station and hostel for Department of Conservation officers and volunteers. Raoul Island Station represents the northernmost outpost of New Zealand.
NZ Outlying Islands Region Information
Key information and facts about the NZ Outlying Islands region.
Major activities and attractions in the NZ Outlying Islands region.