Story: Translation and interpreting – te whakamāori ā-tuhi, ā-waha hoki

Ruatara, 1814

Ruatara, 1814

The young Ngāpuhi chief Ruatara acted as a vitally important translator for the first Christian missionaries to settle in New Zealand. Ruatara had learned English while working on whaling ships and on visits to England and Sydney. In December 1814 Samuel Marsden and a group of missionaries accompanied Ruatara to his home village of Rangihoua in the Bay of Islands, where he introduced them to his relatives, as shown in this drawing. It was probably due to Ruatara's intervention that New Zealand's first mission station was at Rangihoua.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: MNZ-542-1/2-F

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:

Mark Derby, 'Translation and interpreting – te whakamāori ā-tuhi, ā-waha hoki - First English–Māori translations', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/45208/ruatara-1814 (accessed 27 June 2017)

Story by Mark Derby, published 22 Oct 2014