Chatham Islands 1 dollar 2014

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The Chatham Islands form an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean about 680 kilometres southeast of mainland New Zealand. It consists of about ten islands within a 40-kilometre radius, the largest of which are Chatham Island and Pitt Island, the only inhabited islands (with 609 residents in the 2006 Census), with the remaining smaller islands being conservation reserves with access restricted or prohibited.

The first human habitation of the Chathams was by migrating Polynesian tribes who settled the islands about the 16th century and in their isolation became the Moriori.

The name "Chatham Islands" comes from the ship HMS Chatham of the Vancouver Expedition, whose captain William R. Broughton landed on 29 November 1791, claimed possession for Great Britain and named the islands after the First Lord of the Admiralty, John Pitt, 2nd Earl of Chatham.

In 1835 the Māori tribes conquered the island, and after the invasion, Moriori were forbidden to marry Moriori, or to have children with each other. All became slaves of the invaders until the 1860s. Currently the Moriori community is organised as the Hokotehi Moriori Trust. The Moriori have received recognition from the Crown and the New Zealand government and some of their claims against those institutions for the generations of neglect and oppression have been accepted and acted on. Moriori are recognised as the original people of Rekohu. The Crown also recognised the Māori tribe: Ngati Mutunga as having indigenous status in the Chathams by right of 160-odd years of occupation.

The islands are a breeding ground for huge flocks of seabirds and are home to number of endemic birds, some of them seabirds and some of them living on the islands themselves. The best known species are the Magenta Petrel and the black robin, both of which came perilously close to extinction before drawing the attention of conservation efforts. Also, a number of endemic mammals are found in the waters of the Chathams, including New Zealand sea lions, leopard seals, and southern elephant seals.

Much of the natural forest of these islands has been cleared for farming, but Mangere and Rangatira Islands are now preserved as nature reserves to conserve some of these unique flora and fauna. Another threat to wildlife comes from introduced species which prey on the indigenous birds and reptiles, whereas on Mangere and Rangatira, livestock has been removed and native wildlife is recovering.

Most of the Chatham Island economy is based on fishing and crayfishing, with only a fragment of adventure tourism.

This is one of the only coins ever produced for the Chatham Islands.

Additional product information

Year 2,014
Condition UNC
Denomination 1 dollar
Diámeter (mm) 39

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