The Early Settlers sculpture depicts a young migrant family arriving in Nelson around 1842 and marks an early landing site for both Māori and early settlers. The man, his wife and daughter stand facing their new life ahead with some of the basic necessities they would need in the new colony – tools to work the soil and grow the seeds they would have brought with them.
English born artist Anthony Stones, famous for his works in bronze, was commissioned by the Nelson 2000 Trust to create this piece. It was largely funded by generous donations from the Baigent and Goodman families. Stones has created a number of bronzes across New Zealand, mainly of famous people such as Captain James Cook and Abel Tasman. He is known for his research and meticulous attention to detail such as here, with costumes and belongings of the trio. His work is in public and private collections worldwide.
Early Settlers Memorial, Wakefield Quay, Nelson. Tony Stones, 2000
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The statue is adjacent to the fascinating Early Settlers Memorial wall (2), which is also a Nelson 2000 Trust project, conceived as a way of recognising the pioneers who built Nelson as we know it today. Facing seawards, the panels of engraved granite give an overview of Māori and European settlement in the area, and lists of the Nelson passengers and the ships which arrived here from 1841-1850. This list is also searchable in full on the Nelson City Council Early Settlers database. Many ship names are remembered in Nelson landmarks and street names.