Nelson Anniversary Day is observed every Monday closest to February 1 to commemorate the creation of the settlement of Nelson by the New Zealand Company on February 1, 1842. This year, it falls on January 30. Did you know that the original Maori people used to call the area that is now the city of Nelson “Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka a Maui” (which literally translates to “The Prow of the Canoe of Maui”) before it was settled by Europeans and developed into a metropolis?
Nelson, a city located on the eastern beaches of Tasman Bay, is sometimes referred to as “Whakatu” in the Maori language. This city is well known not just for its beaches and bays but also for its vibrant arts and crafts culture.
It is possible that the freshwater springs in this city are the purest in the world. The city of Nelson is the second-oldest continuously inhabited settlement in all of New Zealand.
Nelson’s earliest known residents were Maori people, who arrived in the area about the 12th century. The Maori colonized the Nelson-Marlborough districts (also called “Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka a Maui”), where they mined argillite and expanded the surrounding area. In the early 1600s, the “Ngti Tmatakkiri” faction of the Maori people waged war against other factions of the tribe and eventually came to dominate them.
But their rule remained in place until the early 1800s, when a northern tribe led by “Te Rauparaha” colonized the region after committing genocide against the native people of the area and settling there.
In January of 1770, a British expedition commanded by Captain James Cook set sail for New Zealand with the purpose of exploring the Nelson area. The Nelson area was their primary destination. During his journey, Captain Cook gave the name “Cook Strait” to the body of water that separates the North and South Islands. He also gave the names “Queen Charlotte Sound” and “Ship Cove” to two distinct land features.
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This latter location served as their port of entry for both of their trips to New Zealand, which took place in 1773 and 1777, respectively. Following the conclusion of a treaty that was made in May 1840 between the British and the Ngai Tahu leaders, the British asserted their ownership over the entirety of the South Island.
Following the establishment of Wellington as the nation’s capital, the New Zealand Company set out to locate additional land that could be farmed. Three ships were dispatched to explore the northern section of South Island in search of a suitable location for a new town to be named Nelson.
The company’s goal was to find a place on the island where the town might be built. After arriving at the Kapiti coast, representatives from the New Zealand Company entered into negotiations with a local resident named “Te Rauparaha” and ultimately purchased land from him.
The very first colonists left for Nelson on November 1st, 1841. The first European immigrants left London aboard the ship Fifeshire on September 17, 1841. At least a dozen people had died before it reached Nelson on February 1, 1842. After the first European settlers arrived, Nelson’s birthday was officially celebrated every year.
How To Celebrate Nelson’s Birthday
Just Take It Easy
You can take the day off on the Nelson anniversary to unwind after a stressful week. A day off is perfect for relaxing pursuits like yoga or trips to the spa.
Take Part In Celebrations Commemorating Nelson’s Birthday
Nelson Anniversary Day is celebrated annually with a variety of events held throughout the region. Locate those events in your area by searching the web or asking at your library.
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Recount Some Of Nelson’s Background
The city of Nelson and the surrounding area are steeped in fascinating history. If you live in a place, you may help others learn more about it by writing about its past on social media. Don’t leave out the visuals; they’re what really make the story come to life.
New Zealand: Some Interesting Facts
- The national anthem is sung in English every time it is performed
- “God Save the Queen” is one of the two songs that serve as New Zealand’s national anthem.
- New Zealand is the only place in the world where Middle-earth tourists can visit Hobbiton and use currency adorned with images of hobbits.
- It has a greater number of sheep than people living there.
- It’s a safe bet that every New Zealander has at least six sheep.
- The seas here are the cleanest ever observed anywhere in the world.
- The depth of Blue Lake, which may reach up to 80 meters, can be found within Nelson Lakes National Park.
- The last place on Earth where people may be found living
- Around 800 years ago, humanity first established permanent settlements in New Zealand.