Polynesians, were the first to inhabit New Zealand. Over 1000 years ago, early Maoris from East Polynesia came in their canoes. These vessels had : a double hull, or an outrigger , and woven sails. They were 15 - 25 metres long.
Sea swells gave the navigators directions by day, whilst the stars guided them by night. Sailors searched for signs, like birds feeding by the sea (This meant land was near). Many canoes set out to the vast ocean, but only a few managed to sail the empty, stormy seas, to reach Aotearoa, New Zealand.