December 13, 1642
Abel Janszoon Tasman reaches New Zealand.
Detail from a 1657 map showing the western coastline of "Nova Zeelandia"
Abel Tasman sighted New Zealand in 1642 and called it Staten Landt, supposing it was connected to a landmass of the same name at the southern tip of South America. In 1645 Dutch cartographers renamed the land Nova Zeelandia after the Dutch province of Zeeland. British explorer James Cook subsequently anglicised the name to New Zealand.