Story: Nelson region

Delaware crew rescue: Hūria Mātenga (1st of 2)

Delaware crew rescue: Hūria Mātenga

This studio portrait of Hūria Mātenga was taken in the 1890s in the Tyree studio in Nelson. The rope prop and the painted backdrop of a cliff and stormy waters evoke her part in the 1863 rescue of the crew of the Delaware. Hūria, along with her husband Hēmi, as well as Kerai, Eraia and Hohapata Kahupuku, rescued the crew as the ship broke up, swimming out through breakers to retrieve a line thrown from the vessel. Young, beautiful Hūria, the granddaughter of the Ngāti Tama chief Te Pūoho, attracted the most attention, and a public subscription raised enough to buy her a gold watch. Each of the rescuers received £50 (nearly $6,000 in 2020 terms).

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Tyree Studio Collection (PAColl-3064)
Reference: 10x8-0274-G
Photograph by Tyree Brothers

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:

Carl Walrond, 'Nelson region - Sea and air transport and communications', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 19 June 2024)

Story by Carl Walrond, updated 1 Aug 2015