Story: Poles

Engraving of a tūī

Polish engraving of a tūī

The first people with a connection to Poland known to have reached New Zealand were two scientists who came with James Cook on his second voyage in 1773. They were Polish-born Johann Reinhold Forster and his son Georg, both of whom published accounts of the voyage. Georg’s engraving of the ‘poe-bird’, published in Cook’s account, A voyage towards the South Pole, is one of the earliest European depictions of a tūī.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: C-051-028
Engraving by Johann Georg Forster

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Theresa Sawicka, 'Poles - The first arrivals', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 May 2022)

Story by Theresa Sawicka, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 25 Mar 2015