Simon's A-Z of New Zealand - Akaroa
This area came into being within 24 hours of being proclaimed a French territory. Captain Jean-François Langlois provisionally purchased land here in 1838. A deposit of commodities valued at $12 secured him 60 hectares of land in the greater Banks Peninsula area from local Maori. He and 63 emigrants arrived on the "Comté de Paris" on August 18th 1840, only to find the British, under Captain Owen Stanley, had beaten them by just one day. Stanley's ship the "Britomart" arrived on August 17th and British sovereignty was proclaimed.