While driving even greater distances than usual these Advent / Christmas days to celebrate the sacraments around the Hurunui I have had plenty of time to listen to podcasts. One of the most informative was Dame Anne Salmond on Radio NZ’s Rutherford Lectures. The “Land” lecture was particularly timely since on Christmas Day exactly two hundred years ago the first Christian service was held on New Zealand soil.
Wikipedia reports that: “The first Christian service conducted in New Zealand waters may have occurred when Father Paul-Antoine Léonard de Villefeix, the Dominican chaplain of the French navigator, Jean-François-Marie de Surville celebrated Mass in Doubtless Bay, near Whatuwhiwhi, on Christmas Day, 1769″. This account is supported and developed in the December issue of Tui Motu.
You can find the Rutherford Lectures at this link.