Map of Wellington and environs
1915 See full details
Elsdon Best (1856–1931) provided the annotations giving Māori place names and other historical information. Best was an ethnologist at the Dominion Museum and an early authority on Māori history.
Best travelled to Hawaii and California, undertaking timber work and ranching, returning to New Zealand in 1886 and became an officer with Lands and Survey, in the Urewera country.
He became a foundation member of Polynesian Society in 1891.
He lived in the bush in his later years, learning the history of the land from local Māori all over the North Island. With assistance from Te Matorohanga, Best traced the voyages of discovery through Cook Strait by Kupe, Tōī, Whatonga, Tāra and Tautoki.
Elsdon Best published The Land of Tāra, and they who settled it, the Story of the Occupation of Te Whanga-nui-a Tāra (the great harbour of Tāra), or Port Nicholson, by the Maories, and this was reprinted in 1919 from the Journal of the Polynesian Society of New Zealand. His most famous book is Tuhoe, the Children of the Mist, published in 1925.
He was awarded the Hector Medal of the New Zealand Institute in 1914.
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