In Search of the Unknown South-Land. Abel Tasman and New Zealand
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In Search of the Unknown South-Land. Abel Tasman and New Zealand

(Heidi van de Veire) The Low Countries - 1996, № 4, pp. 198-205

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During the antipodean summer of 1642, New Zealand almost became a Dutch colony. A brief but bloody encounter with the local Maori population however, changed the course of history. 19 December 1642 was not a happy day in the seafaring annals of Abel Janszoon Tasman, commander of the Heemskerck and the Zeehaen and leader of the expedition sponsored by the Dutch United East India Company, but it did put New Zealand, or rather the west coast of New Zealand, on the map. Nowadays Dutch immigrants are drawn to New Zealand for its spaciousness, freedom and anti-nuclear policy. And of course, like thousands of other tourists, the Dutch have also discovered New Zealand as an outdoors paradise.

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