Story: Hawke’s Bay region


Englishman Barnet Burns was the first Pākehā trader to settle in Hawke’s Bay. He opened a trading post on Māhia Peninsula in 1831, but this was closed by his Sydney-based employer 11 months later. Burns returned to England in 1835, leaving behind his Ngāti Kahungunu wife Amotawa and their three children. He published a book about his life in New Zealand, which was reprinted several times. He went on lecture tours through England, displaying his Māori tattoos and clothing in front of paying crowds. He planned to return to New Zealand, but never did, and the circumstances of his later life and death are unknown.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: A-059-002

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How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'Hawke’s Bay region - European contact', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 2 December 2023)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, updated 1 Jul 2015