Following the incident in Golden Bay, and the recovery of the cock-boat, the officers of the Zeehaen returned to their own ship, and soon after both ships weighed anchors and turned to leave the Bay heading ENE. At noon they were 2 Dutch myles south of their noon position on the previous day, and there Tasman convened the Ships’ Council.
Seeing that the detestable deed of these natives against four men of the Zeehaan’s crew, perpetrated this morning, must teach us to consider the inhabitants of this country as enemies; that therefore it will be best to sail eastward along the coast, following the trend of the land in order to ascertain whether there are any fitting places where refreshments and water would be obtainable; all of which will be found set forth in extenso in this day’s resolution.
In this murderous spot (to which we have accordingly given the name of Moordenaersbay) we lay at anchor on 40° 50′ South Latitude, 191° 30′ Longitude. “
Unfortunately, Tasman’s recorded position at anchor in Murderers Bay cannot be relied on at all as it was an estimation of both latitude and longitude. His previous ‘observed’ latitude was prior to entering the Bay.
The Sailor’s journal for the day was brief, but included the names of the men from the Heemskerck who had been killed;
This marks the last mention in the Dutch record of the events in Golden Bay.
No detailed account by the Ngati Tumatakokiri was ever recorded, and as far as we know only 3 men survived their subsequent conquest. These three lived the rest of their lives as slaves of their conquerors.
This pencil sketch of Kehu snaring a Weka, by Charles Heaphy, is the only known original depiction of any Ngati Tumatakokiri (click to open at source)
Hone Mokehakeha, better known as Kehu, and Pikiwati were slaves to the Ngati Rarua. Eruera Te Whatapakoko, who was originally from Golden Bay was slave to Hohepa Tamaihengia of NgatiToa.
In the 1850’s, Land Agent James Mackay met Ngati Tumatakokiri survivor Eruera Te Whatapakoko. When asked if he’d heard of or seen white men in former days Erueha told him that his ancestors had killed some men who came in a ship to Wharawharangi, near Separation Point. From the hill behind Wainui, Eruera pointed out to Mackay where Tasman’s men had been killed by his ancestors.
This gives us no new detail of what happened there that day, but it is confirmation that it was indeed the Ngati Tumatakokiri that Tasman met.
When James Cook came to New Zealand in 1769-70 he carried with him a copy of Tasman’s journal; he made multiple references to it. His copy of Tasman’s journal clearly included the illustrations, as Joseph Banks recorded in Queen Charlotte Sound that; “The men in these boats were dressd much as they are represented in Tasmans figure”.
On anchoring in Ships Cove, Cook knew that he was quite close to the location of Tasman’s “Murtherers Bay”, and asked the natives if they’d seen ships like his before.
Cook stayed for 3 weeks in Queen Charlotte sound, and as he was preparing to leave, a local called Topaa, who they referred to as the ‘old man’, came aboard to say goodbye.
In this last conversation, conducted through Tupaia, Cook again enquired after Tasman’s visit.
His journal entry for Feb 6th 1770 recorded the exchange.
Joseph Banks, Botanist on the Endeavour, recorded a similar exchange with Topaa:
Although the details conflict, this is clear evidence that Tasman’s visit was still known to the people in Queen Charlotte’s Sound nearly 130 years after the event. Topaa said that it was his ‘ancestors’ that killed Tasman’s men, and this is curious as Queen Charlotte’s Sound was not Ngati Tumatakokiri territory. Perhaps he was related to the Ngati Tumatakokiri (which is not at all unlikely), or in ‘ancestors’ he was referring to the wider ancestry of the Kurahaupo people, which he would have in common.
As Tasman’s party left Golden Bay, they believed they were leaving land behind them, and passing again into open ocean.
On Dec 16th, the evening before they’d seen smoke, Tasman had written that: “we found the furthest point of the land that we could see to bear from us east by north, the land falling off so abruptly there that we did not doubt that this was the farthest extremity.”
Now, leaving Golden Bay, they saw the lie of the coast continuing to the East, and were sure that they’d rounded the northernmost tip of the land and were entering the Pacific Ocean.
Since they were now leaving this land behind them, they named it.
Tasman named the country “Staten Landt”.
His journal entry for December 19th details their exit from the Bay:
It had been a big day for Tasman and his men, and no doubt they were pleased to leave Murderers Bay behind them, but the day’s excitement was not yet over.
Tasman believed he was sailing into open ocean. He was sorely mistaken.