10 Feb 2014

NZ's first mission station found

8:28 pm on 10 February 2014

Archaeologists at the University of Otago have discovered New Zealand's first mission station and school in Kerikeri in the Far North.

Discoveries at the site of the Hohi mission station, founded in 1814 and closed in 1832, include ceramic plates, glass and slate pencils.

Archaeologist Angela Middleton was part of the excavation team and said the discovery provided insight into the first contact between Maori and European settlers.

"We also have the material evidence of the first encounters between Maori and Pakeha, and then it was taken further with the development of other missions. So we have the beginnings of the pre-Treaty (of Waitangi) engagement between Maori and Europeans."

The find will help researchers better understand the daily lives of New Zealand's first settlers.