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New Zealand


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General Description of New Zealand

Before I quit this land altogether I shall give a short and general discription of the Country, its Inhabitants their manners, Customs &Ca in which it is necessary to observe that many things are founded only on Conjetor for we were too short a time in any one place to learn much of their interior policy and therefore could only draw conclutions from what we saw at different times —

Part of the East Coast of this Country was first discover'd by Abel Tasman in 1642 and by him calld New Zeland    he however never landed upon it probably he was discouraged from it by the natives killing 3 or 4 of his people at the first and only place he anchor'd at — This country, which before now was thought to be a part of the imaginary Southern Continent, co[n]sists of Two large Islands divided from each other by a strait or passage of 4 or 5 Leagues broad, they are Situated between the Latitudes of 34° and 48° So and between the Longitude of 181° and 194° West from the Meridion of Greenwh The situation of few parts of the world are better determined than these Islands are being settled by a great number some hundreds of Observations of the Sun and Moon and one of the transit of Mercury made by Mr Green who was sent out by the Royl Society to observe the Transit of Venus —

The Northermost of these Islands as I have before Observed is call'd by the Natives Aehei no mouwe and the Southermost Tovy Poenammu, the former name we were well assurd comprehended the whole of the Northern Island.  but we were not so well satisfied with the latter whether it comprehended the whole of the Southern Island or only apart of it —

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© Transcribed from National Library of Australia Manuscript 1 page 206, 2004
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