The Founding Family of a new bicultural nation by Eric Hansen.


The Founding Family is a social history of the Hansen family in New Zealand. It provides biographies for the first three generations of the Hansen family, and a range of stories about their descendants who have made notable contributions to the sporting, political, cultural, and industrial history of New Zealand. It takes up where the 1989 Hansen reunion finished, and describes the projects undertaken by the family to preserve the memory of their ancestors and to promote the family to the wider New Zealand audience.


Information for the book has been gained from further research into the family conducted by Kath Hansen and her son Eric since the 1989 Reunion. Together, Kath and Eric have been instrumental in researching, promoting and celebrating the Hansen family history both before and since their historical settlement in New Zealand in 1814. In addition to stories about the Hansen family, the book includes newspaper and magazine articles written by Eric Hansen and published over the last five years.


At 134 pages and full of colour and black & white photos, The Founding Family provides an excellent historical resource covering the 200 years since the Active arrived in the Bay of Islands on 22 December 1814


ISBN: 978-0-473-27124-4. RRP: $30.00 as from 1 May 2014, plus $5.00 P&P within NZ. Post cheque and order details to 48 Marsden Point Rd, Ruakaka, 0116; or for electronic payment, mail your postal address to An account number will be sent by return email.



RANGIHOUA: Mission Impossible? by Kath Hansen.


RANGIHOUA: Mission Impossible? takes a fresh new look at the Church Missionary Society’s first permanent European settlement, established at Oihi/Hohi in the Bay of Islands in 1814. Author Kath Hansen, our own family historian and treasure, has updated her own research for this social history, which covers the first two decades of life at the infant mission. This new book features valuable material drawn from the private diary of William Hall, recruited in England by Samuel Marsden, as were the other two CMS recruits: Thomas Kendall and John King. William’s personal experiences of triumph and tragedy are used to describe the settlers’ struggle of daily living beside Rangihoua pa through continuous shortages of food, basic supplies and medicine.


RANGIHOUA investigates Marsden’s complex character and motives, and the fanatical zeal with which he pursued his long held vision. However, the book’s principal focus is on the three mechanics/artisans (lay settlers) who were the first CMS missionaries to work in the Bay of Islands. These three families put their faith in God and their lives at risk when they sailed from Sydney in the Active in 1814.


The role of the Active and those who sailed in her to establish this first organized European settlement, 25 years before the Treaty of Waitangi is signed, are less well-known than they should be. RANGIHOUA: Mission Impossible? tells their story. Illustrated with colour photos, maps and depictions, it is a wellresearched and informative work, a must-have reference text for descendants of NZ’s first settlers.


Publication: April 2014 RRP: $40 (incl. postage in NZ) ISBN: 978-0-473-26888-6

Contact Kath Hansen



Served in Two Armies by Jim Hansen.


Herbert Reginald Hansen's memoir of the First World War describes how he was taken prisoner in 1918. It is an incredible story of how he endured many weeks of incarceration in the most terrible of conditions before escaping from this prison, only to be recaptured and then escaping again. He saw out the war in hiding in France. If found, he would certainly have been shot as a spy.


It is available for $12 plus postage. Please contact Jim Hansen on (09) 575 5429 or



In the Field – Mud and Blood on the Western Front. Kath Hansen’s book is a WW1 history book commemorating the 42 descendants of Captain Thomas Hansen who enlisted for service in WW1. The majority of these soldiers were in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force and fought with the N.Z. Division on the Western Front. Eleven of these cousins remain buried in either France or Belgium. Two cousins were awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field. The book concludes with the extraordinary story of Stan Hansen’s father who was taken prisoner by the Germans in April 1918. He escaped from captivity, not once, but twice!!! and wrote a memoir about his experience. After 94 years, it is time to share his unique story with the extended family.


The book was launched in Auckland on Saturday 1st September 2013 to coincide with Stan’s 80th birthday. Guest of Honour was Hon Chris Finlayson, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage. Special Guests included the Rt Revd Ben Te Haara, and representatives from the NZ Military Historical Society, the RSA and the Passchendaele Society.



The First Family, a history of Captain Thomas and Hannah Hansen and their descendants, was written by Ron Martin, a direct descendant of Captain ThomasandHannahHansen through their grandson Edward Hansen. It was published by the 175th Anniversary Committee just prior to the re-enactment of 1989 in the Bay of Islands. Towards the end of the following year, the Committee donated 500 copies to intermediate and secondary schools throughout New Zealand as our donation towards the 1990 Year which celebrated 150 years since the Treaty of Waitangi. The book has been out of print since then. The original family history was updated further still by Kath Hansen's book In the Wake of the Active - A Social History of the First European Settlers who arrived in the Bay of Islands in 1814. There was only one print run of 1000 copies and it is now out of print.
Six years later, Kath published Legacy of the Active which was the true story of a second generation Hansen born in New Zealand (1858-1933). The 'legacy' bit relates to the telescope from the brig Active which has been handed down through the generations and survives to this day. Kath's booklet The Life and Times of Captain Thomas Hansen was launched in January 2008. Kath's next booklet “Dear Mr Hansen” was launched in December 2011. Both booklets cost $10.00 each plus P & P. Still available is “Legacy of the Active” also $10.00 plus P & P. All proceeds from the sale of “Dear Mr Hansen” go direct to the 1814 Hansen Family Society.


Contact Information

1814 Hansen Family Society Inc.
Auckland, New Zealand

Committee members details