Rekohu: The Chatham Islands

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Rekohu The Chatham Islands. A map of Rekohu commonly known as the Chatham Islands

Rekohu the Chatham Islands


Rekohu (the Chatham Islands) is about 870 kms away to the East of New Zealand, in what is known as the "Roaring Forties". Its a location, not a time i history!

Although the Chatham Islands are have been a part of New Zealand since 1842, they are actually in a different time zone. Due to a detour in the official timeline, the Chatham Islands are nearly 45 minutes ahead of mainland New Zealand. 

Two islands are permanently inhabited; Rekohu, the main island has a population of about 640 people and Rangiauria (Pitt Island), which has a population of 40 people.

The main industries on the Chatham Islands are fishing, farming and tourism.

Rekohu the Chatham Islands

New Zealand Maori refer to the Chatham Islands as Wharekauri, but this name was given by mistake. Around 1835 the name Wharekauri was used to describe a particular house at the northern end of  Rekohu. A Maori returning to New Zealand, who had stayed at Wharekauri used the term to describe where he had been and the name stuck with all Maori. Rekohu is the appropriate name and Rangiaotea is the correct name for Pitt Island.

The other out laying islands also have their respective Moriori and Maori names. Most available maps and charts use European and Maori names.

Rekohu the Chatham Islands

The Chatham Islands were “re-discovered” by accident, on the 27th of November, 1791 by Lieutenant  Broughton on board the HMS Chatham. He landed and claimed the islands for the King of England despite the fact that there were already a people living there.

There was immediate contact with the “Indian” inhabitants, which resulted in one man; Tamakaroro, being shot. Broughton wrote that the natives were quite ferocious in their appearance.

The crew of the brig, Chatham, could not know it, but these “Indians” had lived here undisturbed by any other people for hundreds of years.


Broughton and the crew landed only on the main Island and never knew that many of the other islands (10 in total) existed. 

In 1807 the remainder of the group of islands were “discovered” by the Royal Navy vessel “Cornwallis” and for a time the southern islands of Pitt, South East, Mangere, The Pyramid, The Castle and Passage rock were known as the Cornwallis group.,


Moriori Unit Plan Tommy Solomon Question Matrix Origins of Moriori At the Graveside Brainstorm
Chatham Islands Alphabet soup New Arrivals Timeline Activity Moriori Timeline Life on Rekohu
Tommy's Statue New Life Quiz Assess Yourself Assessment Matrix  

rekohu, the chatham islands, the Rekohu Experience, chatham islands

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