First Encounters

Book Author  Edited by Gordon Ell and Sarah Ell
Rights Available World excl. ANZ

Europeans had no idea what they would find when they first set eyes on Aotearoa. First Encounters selects some of the key writings from these early traders, missionaries, explorers and surveyors — covering nearly 200 years from Abel Tasman in 1642 and Joseph Banks in 1769, through to early settlers such as John Logan Campbell in 1840.

Their records of encounters with this new land and its Māori inhabitants reveal stories of wonder, curiosity, misunderstanding and adventure — all with interest and impact for modern readers. The text is liberally illustrated with two-colour imagery and historical photos, alongside fact boxes explaining language and events.

• Compelling tales from the journals of first Europeans in Aotearoa
• Targeted extracts supported by extensive illustration and fact boxes
• Fourth title in The NZ Series, non-fiction aimed at readers aged 12+


About the Author
Gordon Ell was a writer and publisher with a lifelong interest in New Zealand’s natural and historic heritage. He wrote more than 30 books for adults and children. Gordon passed away in April 2021. His daughter, Sarah Ell, is an editor, writer and journalist, who has written ten books, and inherited her father’s love of New Zealand history and the environment.


Oratia Books


240 x 160mm



Non Fiction

Age Range

Publication Date
April 2021

Rights Available:
World excl. ANZ

Rights Agents:


Peter Dowling, Oratia Books

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