Cook’s 1772 Voyage | tui


Early European visitors wanted to know the Māori names for the animals and plants they saw. Reinhold Forster was the naturalist on Captain Cook’s second voyage to New Zealand in 1772. Forster asked the Rangitāne people living in Queen Charlotte Sound what the name of the bird they heard calling was.

He wrote down their reply phonetically as “Rògho Etooee”. In early texts this is recorded as the Māori name of the species. It is now clear that this supposed ‘name’ is the phrase “Rongo e tūī” translated as “You are hearing the tui”.


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