Turanganui-a-Kiwa Poverty Bay

Compare Captain James Cook in HMS Endeavour’s designated name of Poverty Bay with Tūranganui-a-Kiwa, meaning the “great standing place of Kiwa”. Kiwa arrived from Hawaiki on the Tākitimu canoe about 400 years before Cook and was the first to step off the canoe. This event was officially recognised in the double naming of the bay as Tūranganui-a-Kiwa Poverty Bay in 2019.

In his exploration of New Zealand, Cook paid particular attention to the area of the North Island from Hawkes Bay, around East Cape, to the Bay of Plenty. He landed at many beaches and gave the major features their European names. He didn’t think much of “Poverty Bay”, which is in fact a beautiful long crescent-shaped beach in front of Gisbourne, with Young Nick’s Head (Te Kuri) to the south. At least young Nick got his name in the history books as the first member of Cook’s crew to sight NZ.

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