Pakeha Maori
Teecee Family History pages    email me 
NZ pre 1846 Database FLORENCE/FLORANCE one name study Personal Family History

Pakeha Maori / Convicts / Deserters

A number of Europeans arrived in NZ from Australia who were either escaped convicts or had served their time in Australia and came to New Zealand as tradesmen or labourers. A number of other convicts worked as seamen under bond on various ships but 'jumped ship' in New Zealand, often being adopted by a local tribe. In other cases seamen simply deserted their ship when in New Zealand.

Many Maori tribes had a ‘resident’ European (a Pakeha Maori) who assisted the Maori tribes to negotiate trade with the increasing numbers of vessels visiting NZ. The first Europeans to live with the Maori were probably the 4 desserters from the Hunter in Thames in 1798. One of these was Henry TAYLOR.

There is a record of a George BRUCE who left his ship in 1806. One account is that he was a 'convict sailor' who deserted ship but another states he was a sailor and volunteered to leave the ship at the request of Te Pahi. He left NZ 1808. 

In 1806 a eleven convicts, hijacked the ship Venus and forced it to sail to New Zealand. Two males, Benjamin KELLY and John LANCASHIRE, and their ‘partners’ Catherine HAGERTY and Charlotte EDGAR (other sources have BADGER), who also had a small child,  left the ship in the Bay of Islands. KELLY and LANCASHIRE were subsequently re-captured in 1807. (LANCASHIRE by the ship Brothers and KELLY by the Britannia.) Apparently  HAGERTY died later in 1806 in the Bay of Islands. EDGAR and her child lived in the Bay of Islands for some time. In March 1807 both Captain BUNKER of the Elizabeth and Captain BIRNIE of the Commerce offered to take EDGAR and her child back to Sydney but in both cases she refused. There were reports of Charlotte living in Tonga many years later. After leaving the Bay of Islands the Venus with the remaining 6 hijackers (including pilot David EVANS, pvte Richard THOMPSON,  Joseph REDMONDS, Thomas FORD, William EVANS and a Malay cook) travelled around the NZ coast. Reports of their final fate are mixed with some stating that they were probably killed by Maori as a result of their behaviour. Several reports have REDMONDS settling at Mercer. (see web site: ) However there are also reports that the Venus eventually arrived in Chile. 

There was also reports of a European living in the Bay of Islands with the Maori who deserted from a whaling ship around 1800.  A half caste child was seen there by SAVAGE in 1805 and apparently the father used to hide whenever any ships arrived in the bay.

There were reports of three Europeans living on the East Coast around 1820. They were known to the Maori as Riki, Tapore and Punga.

Two convicts stowed away on the James Hay when it left Sydney in July/August 1814. In the Bay of Islands they were handed over to the Active  to be taken back to Sydney but they escaped. However on the next visit of the Active in November 1814 they surrendered and were taken back to Sydney in February 1815. In addition two males and one female (Mary) stowed away on the Jefferson about October 1814 and after 4 months in NZ waters were also transferred to the Active in the Bay of Islands 20th february 1815 to be taken back to Sydney.  Also two male convicts stowed away on the Active in Sydney 28 november 1814 and one escaped 22nd Februay 1815 in the Bay of Islands. It would appear that 5 male and 1 female convict were taken back to Sydney on this voyage.

Other ex convicts came to New Zealand with Samuel MARSDEN as tradesmen. In 1814 Henry alias Patrick SHAFFERY, Walter HALL and SMITH came on the Active  to the Bay of Islands.

In 1815 5 convicts were in the Bay of Islands, having been left there by three visiting ships under the charge of KENDALL. They escaped on the Brothers which left for Tahiti.  

1816, John RUTHERFORD and 5 others survived the sacking of the Agnes. RUTHERFORD lived with Maori until 1826 and then returned to England.

In March 1832 the crew of the Clarence all deserted in Otago and the ship returned to Hobart with a Maori crew.