I came across this map in Mick Strack’s essay “Bounding the Land: Cadastral framework on the Taieri” in the recently published “Making Our Place”, and it intrigued me.
It is a map of the South Island, sketched by Edmund Halswell around 1841 from an unidentified Ngai Tahu source. The map shows the South Island so elongated and distorted in shape, that is almost unrecognisable. But is precisely this cartographic inaccuracy which reveals valuable information about how Maori interacted and viewed the land before European colonisation. Continue reading