Sandy Rodgers Artworks | Portfolio Categories Contemporary Artifacts
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Before Tasman

New Zealand was discovered many times by  many different people, the earliest accepted discovery being the Polynesian Explorers who traversed the Pacific over many years reaching Easter Island, Hawaii and New Zealand making up the Pacific Triangle.

The Map:

Based on a small portion of another map of the Indian and Pacific Oceans (Artist unknown) 1817.  It was obviously taken from Cooks map but with the addition of Cape East: Cabo Fermoso 1550 & Cook Straits: Gulf of the Portuguese 1550.  The red script is how the map was titled.

The Flags:

Dutch & the original Portuguese blue cross on white.

Image behind map:

Based on the drawing by an artist aboard Tasmans ship whilst at anchor in ‘Murderers Bay’ .

The Ships:

Heemskerck and Zeehaen, 60 & 100 tons carrying a total of 110 Tasman’s men through the Pacific in 1642.

The Red Union Jack & Kowhaiwhai:

The red represents a long standing favourite colour of the Maori.  The Patiki/flounder design is a symbol of Hospitality. The Union Jack represents the British Colonization of New Zealand.

The Birth of a City

Title based on the book ‘The Birth of a City’

Wellington, 1840 – 1843

By A.H. Carman

Wellington Coat of Arms

Arms: Quarterly Gules and Azure, a Cross Or between; In the first quarter a Fleece Or; in the second quarter on Water barry wavy proper in base a Lymphad sail furled pennon and flags flying Argent; in the third quarter a Garb Or; in the fourth quarter five Plates in Saltire Argent.

Crest: On a Mural Crown Argent a Dolphin Naiant Azure, Mantled Gules.

Supporters: On the dexter side a Lion gorged with a Collar and Chain reflexed over the back Or, and on the sinister side a Moa proper.

Motto: Suprema a Situ (supreme by position).


1.  Wivell, Abraham 1786-1849 :Edward Gibbon Wakefield, Esq. Engraved by B Holl from a drawing by A Wivell, 1823. London, 1826.
2. Other images are early landscapes of Wellington from Alexander Turnbull Library

Adventure in Maoriland


  1. Map and tribal districts of New Zealand
  2. Parkinson, Sydney 1745-1771: Heads of New Zealand Chiefs, curiously tattooed. [London; Printed for J Cooke, 1778-79]
  3. Parkinson, Sydney, 1745-1771: A view of the North side of the entrance into Poverty Bay & Morai Island in New Zealand. 1. Young Nick’s Head. 2. Morai Island. Different perspective of the entrance into the bay. S. Parkinson del. R. B. Godfrey sc. Plate XIV. [London, 1784].
  4. Fox, William 1812-1893: The Mangles grass valley, on the Mangles or Teraumei River. 15 Feb. [18]46.
  5. Tradition garden implements (ink wash by Sandy Rodgers
  6. Cookson, Janetta Maria 1812-1867 :Ohinemutu, Rotorua Lake, N.Z. ; copy 1853.
  7. Moa (ink wash by Sandy Rodgers)
  8. Blomfield, Charles, 1848-1926: [Pa on edge of Lake Rotoiti, ca 1880].
  9. Parkinson, Sidney 1745-1771: The head of a New Zealander, with a comb in his hair, an ornament of green stone in his ear, and another of a fish’s tooth round his neck, / Thornton sculp. [1773].
  10. Ink drawing of foot pieces of gardening instruments and image of Rongo (matane) – God of kumara and all cultivated vegetables. (by Sandy Rodgers)

Te Ao Nui

Te Ao Nui (The whole world)

(Written behind TYPVS ORBIS TERRARVM in dark letters)


Kowhaiwhai: Mangotipi or White pointer shark


This map was inspired by an Atlas created by an unknown artist in 1630. The original is on Parchment, 270 x 380 mm and is in the Biblioteque Nationale, Paris.

What I have done is to change the image; to the world of the Polynesians as opposed to the Europeans and thus the unknown lands (Terra Incognita) become the land masses that the Polynesians didn’t know about.  The size of the Polynesian Islands have all been exaggerated; however I have tried to keep them in approximately the correct direction in relation to each other.

The red arrows and dates indicate the movements of the Polynesians. The names of the different Islands are mixed between their original Polynesian & their European names.