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Why did James Cook look for New Zealand?

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11/19/2008

When James Cook came across New Zealand, following his official mission of observing the transit of Venus in June 1769, it was because he was searching for the Great Southern continent which many believed existed. He was not specifically looking for New Zealand, as Abel Tasman had already discovered it is 1642. New Zealand was on Cook's route to find the "Unknown" continent, and a useful place to trade for fresh supplies.