The “Race for Akaroa”
A grace note to this aspect of the myth by the so called “Race for Akaroa”. A French colonising expedition, led by C. F. Lavaud, in fact arrived in New Zealand in July 1840; its leaders were disappointed to find that the annexation of the South Island had already been proclaimed by Governor Hobson. The settlers were taken on to Akaroa, but the assertion that Hobson dispatched a vessel post haste to raise the flag before the French could arrive has no foundation. The Britomart was, in fact, dispatched to assert a sovereignty already proclaimed.