Whilst on holiday to New Zealand in 2005 my wife Elizabeth and I visited the Captain Cook statue at Gisborne. I mean the one erected in 1994 that shows Cook, not the one erected in 1969 on the top of Kaiti Hill that shows an Italian admiral.
The wording on the front of the base is:
A fine seaman, an outstanding captain and an honest man. Captain Cook was one of the last of the great explorer navigators and the first of the scientific expedition leaders. After his three global voyages of 1768-71, 1772-75 and 1776-79 the map of the world was substantially complete.
Here on the 9th and 10th of October, 1769 Cook walked with men from HM Bark Endeavour seeking fresh food and water. Nearby on the river rock Toka-a-Taiau, Maori chief and English greeted one another. When traditional challenges were misunderstood Maori were killed, the ship sailed without provisions and thus Poverty Bay received its name. From here, the Endeavour circumnavigated New Zealand and Cook plotted the first map of this country.
This meeting of the two peoples marked the beginning of the New Zealand nation.
See also Cook’s Log, page 1181, vol. 18, no. 3 (1995)
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 18, volume 29, number 4 (2006).
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