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Traders & Whalers


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After Captain Cook’s sighting and charting of the Taranaki coast in 1770 is wasn’t until 1822 that the Nga Motu anchorage in the lee of the ‘Sugar Loaf’ islands was first used as a point of trading contact between Maori and European.

From that time on, Taranaki witnessed a series of events which read like fiction – examples of the tension and violence that marked the long process of racial adjustmant. Both parties acted on occasion with ferocity and treachery, but importantly both sides on occasion also displayed selfless courage and devoted loyalty – traders and Maori forming remarkable partnerships in the face of commont threats.