Category:Auckland Islands

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Auckland Islands

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The Auckland Islands have a history of short occupations engendered by a wide variety of causes and enterprises. These range from early Polynesian occupation through castaways, sealing expeditions, settlement by a community of Maori and Moriori from the Chatham Islands, a whaling base, scientific voyages and exploration, pastoral enterprises and coast watching during the second world war.

Many of these have left some archaeological remains. A survey of these is Dingwall et al 2009[1].

One of the more extraordinary settlements was that of the British Southern Whale Fishing Company and Port Ross (1849-52). It was contemporary with the Maori / Moriori settlement at the same place, originating from the Chatham Islands. The company commissioner was Charles Enderby. He also had a royal commission as Lieutenant Governor of the Islands. Because of ambiguity in New Zealand Governor George Grey's appointment it was effectively an independent governorship. The inclusion of Auckland Islands in New Zealand was not resolved until later. The company's whaling ventures were a commercial failure and lead to the abandonment of the settlement.

Enderby Island at Port Ross entrance was named by the group's European discoverer in 1806, Captain Abraham Bristow who worked for Enderby and Company. Charles Enderby was a later entrepreneur in the family. One of the Enderbys, Samuel and his eponymous ship gets attention in Herman Melville's Moby Dick; Or the Whale (1851).

The story of the Enderby Settlement is well told by Conon Fraser (2014)[2].

Other Web Sources for Auckland Islands Archaeology

Heritage Assessment Grafton Wreck NZAA Site No. AU/42 Epigwaitt Hut Site NZAA Site No. AU/43 Auckland Islands, New Zealand Peter Petchey Southern Archaeology Ltd 2014 [1] Accessed March 2015

Heritage Assessment Derry Castle Grave Site NZAA Site No. AU/7 Enderby Island Auckland Islands, New Zealand Peter Petchey Southern Archaeology Ltd 2015 [2]Accessed March 2015


  1. Dingwall, P R, K L Jones and R Egerton (eds) 2009 In care of the southern ocean: An archaeological and historical survey of the Auckland Islands. New Zealand Archaeological Association Monograph 27.
  2. Fraser C, 2014 The Enderby settlement, Britain's whaling venture on the subantarctic Auckland Islands 1849-42. Otago University Press, Dunedin.

Pages in category "Auckland Islands"

The following 2 pages are in this category, out of 2 total.