December 1814 was an important historical time for New Zealand. Captain Thomas Hansen steered the Rev. Samuel Marsden to our shores to bring the first Church Missionaries.


What sort of ship was the Brig Active and what were its origins? Who were the local tangata whenua in the Bay of Islands where Rev. Marsden landed and what was their relationship like?


Find out more below...



Brig Active

Most of us can name the ship that brought the first actual group of Europeans to settle in America - The Mayflower. But how about the name of the ship that brought the first non-missionary settlers to New Zealand?


The origin of the Brig Active is really interesting. Samuel Marsden had referred to it as ‘a brig from India – about 110 tons' at the time he purchased it in March 1814. The exact price appears to vary according to the source but it was probably in the vicinity of 1400 pounds sterling which Marsden paid himself. Read more.

Tangata Whenua

The people who inhabited the Rangihoua pa in the Bay of Islands (tangata whenua) were Ngati Rehia, a subtribe of the Ngati Pou of Whangaroa where the Boyd massacre took place in 1809. Subsequent to the death of the Chief Te Pahi, leadership passed to Ruatara who was responsible for inviting the Rev. Samuel Marsden to establish his mission alongside his own home.


In 1814, Rangihoua pa was the dominant centre of population with Ruatara and Whare Poaka both living there. The famous Hongi Hika, a Nga Puhi, lived in his own Kororipo pa at nearby Kerikeri. Read more.

Fact or Fiction?

There are some frequently asked questions posed by new researchers into Hansen family history. Was Captain Thomas Hansen born in Denmark? Was Hannah King Letheridge the first European female to be born in N.Z.?

Find out the answers here.


Contact Information

1814 Hansen Family Society Inc.
Auckland, New Zealand

Committee members details