Thomas Kendall

Thomas Kendall was one of New Zealand’s first Christian missionaries. He pioneered the transcription of the Māori language, and also investigated how Māori understood the universe.

Read more...



  • Missionaries

    The Christian missionaries of the pre-1840s have been described as the 'agents of virtue in a world of vice', although they were not immune to moral blemish themselves.

    Read the full article

  • Page 3 – Men of vice or virtue?

    Thomas Kendall established the first mission school, but he was later suspended after admitting an adulterous affair with a Maori woman.

  • Page 5 – Wesleyans and Catholics

    How Maori responded to the arrival of Wesleyan and Catholic missionaries in the Bay of Islands


  • Go-betweens

    An important feature of early cross-cultural contact in New Zealand was the role of intermediaries (kaiwhakarite) who acted as go-betweens – people from one culture who lived within the other culture and helped bridge the gap between the two.

    Read the full article

  • Page 3 - Māori intermediaries: RuataraIn 1805 the Ngāpuhi chief Ruatara left New Zealand on the whaling ship Argo with the intention of meeting King George