Arriving from Sydney in the early hours, entering the Port of Auckland at sunrise, the luxury Cunard liner Queen Mary 2 was carrying rare personal letters and draft journals from the explorer Captain James Cook.
Paul Brunton, emeritus curator of the State Library of New South Wales, which owns and is accompanying the historical collection said “the signature is so obviously a signature of a great man. He even worked on it and rehearsed it before it became his impressive scrawl.” Other documents also reveal that after his first landing at Gisborne, Captain Cook regretted that a number of Maori lost their lives, with the following paragraph in a draft journal written between October 9 and 11, 1769. – “I can by no means justify my conduct in attacking and killing the people in this boat who had given me no just provication [sic] and was wholly igernorant [sic] of my decision and had I had the least thought of their making any resistance I would not so much as looked at them.” This was deleted from the final copy of a report. Captain Cook was under orders to treat the communities in the South Pacific with restraint, so he wanted to explain his first encounters with Maori after landing at Poverty Bay. He gave the bay its name because “it afforded us no one thing we wanted”.