Coastline discovery outlined

Early voyages of discovery of the Nelson regional coastline are the subject of a presentation in Nelson next week, as part of this year's Abel Tasman 370 commemoration.

The Seaward View, hosted by the Nelson Historical Society and the Nelson Provincial Museum, will feature a panel of five local speakers including John and Hilary Mitchell, who will present on early Maori in the region and the voyages of Captain James Cook, Robert Jenkin will talk about Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, Nola Leov on French explorer Dumont d'Urville, and Penny Griffith will present on the early survey ship, the Acheron.

She said the Nelson regional coastline was visited and recorded by more of the early voyagers than any other part of the country.

"First came Maori, then Tasman, Cook, d'Urville and the Acheron survey. Each voyage of discovery brought a different perspective to knowledge of and naming the coast from Kahurangi to Rangitoto d'Urville Island, gradually building up the ‘seaward view' of our region," Ms Griffith said.

For Europeans, it also meant ending the myth of the Great South Land, an idea that was gradually dispelled, beginning with Tasman's 1642 voyage.

Ms Griffith is co-ordinating events around Abel Tasman 370.

"I'm really pleased we're able to bring together local speakers for this show-and-tell that spans several hundred years of incremental coastal knowledge," she said.

The Seaward View will be held at the Masonic Hall, 107 Nile St, next Tuesday at 7.30pm, followed by a light supper. Bookings are requested.

To register email Sarah.Barnes or ph 03 548-9588.