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Maori living on the East Coast of New Zealand have enduring memories, handed down through generations, of the first encounters with Captain Cook 250 years ago. This year, Gisborne and our country are marking that encounter. Distinguished historian Prof Dame Anne Salmond discusses the complicated patterns established during those weeks – misunderstanding, mistrust and murder alongside hospitality and friendship – patterns that have been woven through our history as a nation.

Dr Salmond’s research and teaching draw insights from engagements across ‘worlds’ in New Zealand, the Pacific and
Europe. She has written extensively about cross-cultural encounters, including Two Worlds: First Meetings Between Maori and Europeans 1642–1772. In 2001, she became Distinguished Professor of Maori Studies and Anthropology at the University of Auckland. In 2013, the Royal Society awarded her the Rutherford Medal and she was named New Zealander of the Year for her work on cultural history. In 2018, she presented the TV series Artefact and contributed to James Cook: The Voyages at the British Library.