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"M" (J.I. Montefiore) 1837, 27 April. Sketches of New Zealand. Chatham Islands and Tuhua (Mayor Island). The Sydney Herald : 2-3

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"Fern-root, which is the staple food of the New Zealanders, is abundant there, and seals formerly abounded on the coasts"

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".... both parties agree that there is plenty of flax on the islands, but that they do not know how to clean it. Now, it is very strange, that if the Chatham Islands were peopled from New Zealand, even as late as one hundred years ago, that they should forget in that short space of time how to clean their flax and make garments for themselves"

"The only kind of clothing which the Natives wear is the flax nearly in its natural state - it is soaked a little in the water, not sufficient to separate the husk, and then rubbed to soften it, when it is knitted together in the shape of a mat, what the New Zealanders call a Puriki and it is the lowest and commonest description of mat, and cannot be properly termed dressed flax..."

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Relates tradition of Chatham Islands being inhabited by Maori from Mayor Island, about the time of Cook.

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In 1837, The Sydney Herald published a series of articles describing life in NZ by a writer under the pseudonym "M". According to Alistair Matheson, in the Historical Review 30(2), November 1983, this writer was probably John Israel Montefiore, a trader who spent 4 years in the Bay of Plenty District and 18 months in the Bay of Islands.

The articles can be seen online through Trove, the National Library of Australia database:​​​​​​​

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Sketches of New Zealand. Chatham Islands and Tuhua (Mayor Island)

1837, 27 April
"M" (J.I. Montefiore)
The Sydney Herald

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26 September 2013
18 June 2020
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