abel tasman

Personal details

Full Name:

  • Abel Janszoon Tasman


  • 1602/1603?1659?

The dutch explorer Abel Tasman is officially recognised as the first European to ‘discover’ New Zealand in 1642. His men were the first Europeans to have a confirmed encounter with Māori.

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Events In History


Early explorers

  • Early explorers

    The romance and sheer challenge of getting to New Zealand have made the Polynesian discovery and European rediscovery of these islands popular topics of study.

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  • Page 3 - European explorersSpanish and the Portuguese had an active presence in the Pacific from the early 16th century, but there is no firm evidence of Europeans reaching New Zealand before Abel Tasman in