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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 15, Issue 3 (June 1, 1940)

The Maoris Venture on Board Ship

The Maoris Venture on Board Ship.

One evening the natives paid another visit to the vicinity of the ship, and the following morning the chief and his daughter were induced to come on board. But first, the chief presented Cook with a piece of cloth and “a green talk hatchet”; Mr. Forster and Mr. Hodges also received a present of cloth. Then the chief, taking in his hand a small green branch struck the ship's side several times with it, meanwhile repeating a speech or prayer. This over, he threw the branch into the main chains and came on board.

The natives were taken down to the cabin, where breakfast was in progress; they consented to sit at the table, but would not eat anything. At noon, after having been shown all over the ship, they left.

Cook remarks that as far as riches might be counted in New Zealand, this chief exceeded every man there; having received from one and another not less than nine or ten hatchets, three or four times that number of large spike nails, besides many other articles. A few other natives were seen, but the total number in Dusky Bay did not seem to exceed three families. Possibly, these Maoris were a remnant of the Ngatimamoe tribe, whose famous Chief Te-Uira (The Lightning) made a last stand at Jackson's Bay, South Westland, about the year 1760; and then fled with his people to the wild, mountainous country between Lake Wanaka and Milford Sound.