History of Moose in New Zealand
In 1898, Government officials from New Zealand sent a request to the Canadian Government requesting they capture and send Moose suitable for relocation to New Zealand. With permits in order, the Hudson's Bay Company promptly captured fourteen young moose that were shipped via Vancouver in 1900.
The trip was arduous and only four calves survived which were eventually settled in the Hokitika Valley in Westland. They never thrived and only one female lived long enough to be named "Doughboy" before being shot for being a nuisance to local gardens.
In 1907 the process started again and more moose were requested from the Canadian Government. Canada agreed and sent ten moose calves that were eventually released at Supper Cove in Fiordland on April 9, 1910.
They were released by the ship called "Hinemoa" in wooden crates and dropped in the middle of the night. They were left to fend for themselves in the vast remoteness of Fiordland in hopes that in the years to come they would prosper into a large colony that could be hunted for sport.
Finally in 1929, the first bull Moose was shot legally by Eddie J. Herrick and he would go on to shoot two more in 1930 and 1934. He took many trips into the area surrounding Supper Cove and it's for his hard work that Moose Creek was renamed Herrick Creek.
More moose were tracked and hunted throughout the 1930s but they were thought to have been extinct around the 1940s. A flurry of sightings in the early 1950s led to a few interesting photographs including the final official photograph of a moose in New Zealand in 1952.
Since then there have been many incidents of sightings and evidence but no one has been able to definitely prove whether or not a Moose population lives in the remote parts of Fiordland National Park. Antlers, grainy images, and even DNA have been found but without photographic evidence, the Moose of the New Zealand have slipped into myth and legend.
We still believe that there are Moose in New Zealand and we've crafted our product with these legends in mind. Maybe someday we'll mount our own expedition to find the Moose that inspire us everyday.
If you're interested in more about the history on Moose in New Zealand, see Ken Tustin's "A (Nearly) Complete History of the Moose in New Zealand."