The first European to sight New Zealand was Dutch explorer Abel Tasman.
He was on an expedition to discover a great Southern continent ‘Great South Land’ that was believed to be rich in minerals.
See also: Killer London Fog Of 1952 – Worst Air Pollution Event In European History What Caused The Sudden Climate Change 12,900 Years Ago? Black Death did not only kill people, it also brought lead smelting, among many other commercial activities, to a halt.
Ice core lead taken from a glacier in the Swiss-Italian Alps with highly detailed historical records reveal that lead mining and smelting plummeted to nearly zero during the plague years of 1349 to 1353.
His mission to New Zealand was considered unsuccessful by his employers, the Dutch East India Company, Tasman having found ‘no treasures or matters of great profit’.
It was recorded as a major travel route for various Indian tribes as early as the 1820s.
Photo courtesy of the Special Collections, Pikes Peak Library District, Colorado Springs.
In 1642, while searching for this continent, Tasman sighted a ‘large high-lying land’ off the West Coast of the South Island.
Abel Tasman annexed the country for Holland under the name of ‘Staten Landt’ (later changed to ‘New Zealand’ by Dutch mapmakers).