Title: Exotic Intruders

Author: Joan Druett

Publication details: Heinemann, 1983, Auckland

Digital publication kindly authorised by: Joan Druett

Part of: New Zealand Texts Collection

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Exotic Intruders

[merino sheep]

page 49
Black and white photograph of sheep being landed at Waipiro Bay

Captain Cook landed two Merino sheep in Marlborough in 1773, but they failed to survive. The Rev. Samuel Marsden brought Merino sheep from Australia to the Bay of Islands in 1814, but there is no record of permanent establishment of the flock. The real importation of sheep began in 1834 when 105 Merinos from Australia were landed on Mana Island near Wellington by John Bell Wright. In the following year he sent a few bags of their wool to Sydney for sale, establishing the foundation of the New Zealand wool industry. His enterprise was followed by those of Bidwill, Weld, Clifford and Vavasour, who landed their sheep in very much the same way as the sheep in this photograph, taken at Waipiro Bay, were taken from ship to shore.

page 51