stitched by the Aoraki Guild
The legend on the panel reads: Explorers, traders and colonists traversed vast oceans to New Zealand. Ports and sea paths connected the young country to the world.
The story of early NZ is one of ocean exploration. Maori on ocean-going waka (canoes) traversed vast distances from Polynesia, across wild seas to Aotearoa. European explorers arrived several hundred years after the first waka, seeking ‘terra australis incognita’ (the unknown southern land) in the Pacific. Sealers, whalers and missionaries followed, and a colony was gradually established. New Zealand’s coastline offered many challenges but also many safe harbours and coves.
Trade with Australia, Britain and Europe began early post-contact, and accelerated after the development of refrigeration.