On the 21st of December 1835 Charles Darwin arrived in New Zealand on the HMS Beagle. The Beagle had just visited the Galapagos islands, where Darwin had made some of the critical observations that he would later incorporate into his theory of evolution. Darwin did not like New Zealand:
“I believe we were all glad to leave New Zealand. It is not a pleasant place. Amongst the natives there is absent that charming simplicity which is found in Tahiti; and the greater part of the English are the very refuse of society. Neither is the country itself attractive. (Darwin 1860, p. 430)”
Around 1000 years earlier another set of travellers arrived in New Zealand – the ancestors of the Maori. Unlike Darwin, the Maori liked New Zealand and decided to stay.