The ships visits to collect timber come to an end as the wood they have been taking, kahikatea and pōhutukawa, is found to be unsuitable for ship building. With the end of this industry the Firth of Thames area ceases to be the main point of contact for pākehā and Māori. At the end of the year GovernorKing reports half a dozen whaling ships are operating off the north coast. The first recorded sealing ship visit to Dusky Sound in 4 years takes place as most sealers visit the recently discovered Bass Strait rookeries instead.
2 March – The El Plumier, Captain William Reid arrives at Hauraki (the Waihou River between the Hauraki Plains and Coromandel Peninsula) to collect timber. There are women and children on board. In attempting to travel up the Waihou the ship runs aground causing some damage. The crew meet Thomas Taylor, who acts as interpreter for the local Māori who help in unsuccessful attempts to refloat the ship and also provide the crew with food.
20 April – The Royal Admiral, Captain William Wilson, arrives at Hauraki to collect timber before taking several London Missionary Society Brothers to the mission in Tahiti. They encounter Māori who help with provisioning and inform them of a ship further up river. They send a boat several days later which soon finds the El Plumier. Captain Wilson later encounters Thomas Taylor who had been staying with local Māori for 2 years. Captain Wilson and the LMS Brothers record some details of Māori life given to them by Taylor.
15 June – The Royal Admiral leaves Hauraki. The Brothers from the LMS later write accounts of New Zealand and raise the possibility of sending a mission there. However the timber voyages end later in the year and nothing comes of these suggestions.
20 August – The El Plumier leaves Hauraki. She is later captured by the Spanish at Guam and all records of her visit to New Zealand are lost.
5 December – 21 December – TheVenusii, Captain George Bass, visits Dusky Sound. The crew investigates seal rookeries, cut timber and retrieve iron from the beached wreck of the Endeavour (see 1795-97).
^The colony of New South Wales encompasses New Zealand from 1788 to 1840. Therefore the head of state is the monarch of the United Kingdom represented by the Governor of New South Wales. However, British sovereignty was not established over New Zealand per se until 1840, at which point the Treaty of Waitangi retroactively recognised that it had been an independent territory until then. Furthermore, the Declaration of the Independence of New Zealand signed by a number of Maori chiefs in 1835 was formally recognised by the British government at the time, indicating that British sovereignty did not yet extend to New Zealand. (New Zealand Ministry of Culture and Heritage)
^Bass may have visited Dusky Sound in 1803 on his way to South America but he and the Venusii disappeared along with any records he made of his earlier visit. Only a few letters survive which do not record any encounters with any Māori.