Story: When was New Zealand first settled?

Pou whenua, Raoul Island

Pou whenua, Raoul Island

This pou whenua (land post) was erected on Raoul Island, in the Kermadec group, by the Ngāti Kurī tribe of Northland. The tribe has historical links with the Kermadec Islands. In oral traditions the timbers of their canoe, the Kurahaupō, were said to have loosened on the voyage to New Zealand, and it was nearly wrecked at Raoul Island. A larger accompanying canoe, the Aotea, brought most of the settlers on to the North Island. A small party repaired the Kurahaupō before they too sailed on to New Zealand.

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Photograph by Julia Brooke-White

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How to cite this page:

Geoff Irwin and Carl Walrond, 'When was New Zealand first settled? - Radiocarbon dating', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 19 June 2024)

Story by Geoff Irwin and Carl Walrond, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 1 May 2016