27 Lambton Quay
Meet Tessa Duder, and hear the story of how James Cook charted the first map of Aotearoa New Zealand 250 years ago. This talk is based on Tessa's new book, First Map, illustrated by David Elliot.
Tessa Duder has been long fascinated by James Cook’s iconic ‘New Zealand’ chart, and the challenges he overcame to create it. With some experience of sailing on a modern square-rigger, she set out to write a straightforward account of Lieutenant James Cook’s circumnavigation over the summer of 1769-70. The focus was to be on how the famous chart was created during those six months, and at what cost to him, his crew and ship. During the two years this book has been in preparation, she says there has been increasing debate around James Cook’s place in New Zealand history.
“We have – not before time – stopped talking about his voyages of ‘discovery’ and Tupaia’s role during the circumnavigation is now being properly acknowledged.”
“To many, Cook remains one of the world’s greatest explorers, surveyors and seamen, and his charting of New Zealand’s three main islands reason enough to celebrate. Others, however, see Cook as the forerunner and cause of the many ills of 19th century Pacific colonialisation,” says Tessa, who aimed to keep the middle course through the shoals of opposing viewpoints.