Originally my objective was to focus on the geographic area from Banks Peninsula (South Island of New Zealand) south including Rakiura or Stewart Island. However, my study now includes the Kapiti Island/Cook Strait/Marlborough Sounds area and the East Coast of the North Island as far north as Gisborne.
There may be individuals that have an interest in a specific shore whaler’s partner from outside this geographic area. They may consider that their subject will highlight some particular aspect that may assist in our understanding of the shore whalers’ partners. One must keep an open mind when undertaking research of this nature. I am therefore, willing to consider the inclusion of such essays on their individual merits.
The time period spanned is circa 1827 to 1850. It may extend into the early 1860s for some of the East Coast of the North Island stations, particularly those located around Māhia Peninsula.
Some of the southern wahine subject to this study partnered the whalers’ predecessors the sealers. Similarly, some Cook Strait and North Island wahine partnered flax and timber traders who were active prior to and during the shore-whaling era.
This project would generally be categorised as a social history supplemented by a selected biographical collection.
As shore whalers were of varying nationalities, I intend to emphasise the fact that whaling stations were in fact small communities that had a multi-cultural presence.
Since the vast majority of the shore whalers’ partners were wahine this is predominately, but not exclusively, a Māori story.
A completion date for the research phase of my project is yet to be finalised. Realistically, it is at least six years away (as at the beginning of 2008) - the date that this website was originally established).
My wish is that by encouraging and assisting interested people to prepare biographical profiles they may in return be willing to add their essays to my existing collection. This in turn will ultimately form part of a specialised historical reference book.
A wider cross section of these women’s personalities would then be available to share with other interested people and the general public alike. This would ensure a greater understanding of the lives of these wahine/women in the generic sense. The greater the number of individual profiles collected; the more authoritative and professional the generalised overview.