Historic reunion for Hansen Family

  • 16/01/2015

One of New Zealand's original European settler families is reuniting this weekend after 200 years.

Captain Thomas Hansen skippered the Brig Active to the Bay of Islands - the ship that also carried Samuel Marsden, who established the first mission in New Zealand.

But the Hansens and the Marsdens haven't always got on.

Captain Thomas Hansen's son gave him 11 grandchildren. The Hansens were vital to the missionaries they brought here -- and they're just as proud of their heritage.

"If there is anything told of that time in 1814 it's about the three missionaries - the Hansens get very little mention and so we call ourselves the forgotten people," says Ted Hansen, chairman of the Hansen Family reunion.

Reverend Samuel Marsden is the great, great, great grandson of Samuel Marsden.

"Samuel Marsden hired Captain Hansen but they fell out and Captain Hansen got sacked after a couple of years," says Ted Hansen.

"I don't think I'd like to comment on that - all I'll say is that we get on extraordinarily well today," says Rev Marsden.

It wasn't until Rev Marsden met Stan and Kath Hansen that the family friendship was rekindled.

"So the relationship warmed again, you might say, after quite a number of years of lack of contact," says Rev Marsden.

So much so that Rev Marsden will give one of the speeches tomorrow at the Hansen reunion.

"I always tell people if it wasn't for Samuel Marsden's 1814 Hansen story there wouldn't be a Hansen story of that time either," says Ted Hansen.

It's not the first family reunion. Twenty-five years ago the Hansens re-enacted that first arrival.

There are around 500 Hansens registered for this weekend's events but there are around 10,000 in New Zealand, making it one of the country's largest families.

Many of those Hansens are meeting for the first time but they'll always be bound by historic family ties.

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source: newshub archive