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Getting started with New Zealand research
New Zealand lies in the S.W. Pacific Ocean, 2000km east of Australia. New Zealand consists of 2 major Islands - North and South Island, with Stewart Island below the South Island, and the Chatham Islands 500 miles east of Christchurch. New Zealand was first discovered in 1642 by Abel Tasman of Holland, who gave it its name. Captain James Cook claimed New Zealand as a British Colony in 1769. But this was not ratified until 1841 following the Treaty of Waitangi process of 1840. The Polynesian (maoris) arrived around 1000A.D. The Chatham Is. were originally seetled by Moriori people. Mount Cook (Mount Aoraki) is the highest mountain at 12,316ft. (3754metres) high. A wide range of temperatures, from tropical in the north, to dry cold in the south. Sir Edmund Hillary (1919-2007) with his Sherpa Guide Tenzing Norgay were the first people to climb Mount Everest - reaching the summit on 29 May 1953. News of the conquest reached the Queen on the eve of her coronation.
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The sovereignty of New Zealand was proclaimed and its courts established by Ordinance in 1841. Court records that may be useful for genealogical research are those of the Supreme Court 1841-1980 (renamed the High Court in 1980), Police Magistrates Courts 1846-1893, Resident Magistrates’ Courts 1893-1980, District Courts 1980-present, and Wardens’ Courts 1858-present. Read more...
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