These taonga are all held in Sir George Grey Special Collections and currently on show in our exhibition space on the second floor of the Central Library as part of our exhibition Pūtahitanga: a meeting of two worlds in the North, 1769-1842.
The arrival of Captain James Cook in New Zealand in 1769 is usually seen as the beginning of the meeting of two worlds – the Māori and the European – leading to increasing interaction, misunderstanding and understanding, cross-cultural movement and exchange.
This exhibition reveals some of those interactions with explorers, sealers and whalers, missionaries, traders and settlers in the documents and books produced at the time and held in Sir George Grey Special Collections. The word Pūtahitanga means a confluence of streams and expresses the fluidity of this period.We end the exhibition in 1842, two years after the Treaty of Waitangi and the move of the capital to the new settlement of Auckland, and three years before the first major conflict erupted in 1845.
Ref: Ko te katekihama III, Kerikeri: Church Mission Press, 1830, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, GNZM 7.
The first item ever printed in New Zealand is this very modest production by the missionary William Yate, printed in Kerikeri in 1830. Only two known copies survive now.
The text is a Māori translation of the catechism, a summary of the Christian doctrine.