Chatham Islands
The Chatham Islands are the first inhabited land in the world to greet the first dawn. Waitangi is its capital. Karewa, 21 km north of Waitangi have an airport. The Chatham Islands have a population of around 750 people. It is part of New Zealand territory, which lies approximately 850 kilometers east of Christchurch, at about latitude 44os. The two main islands within the Chatham Islands group are Chatham Island (approximately 222,399 acres, including Te Whanga Lagoon of almost 40,000 acres). Chatham Island and Te Whanga Lagoon are locally known as Rekohu and Wharekauri. The other main island is Pitt Island (15,635 acres). Pitt Islands (Rangiauria) was named after William Pitt, first Earl of Chatham. The principal smaller islands are South East Island (Rangatira) 539 acres, Mangere Islands 279 acres, Little Mangere (Tapuaenuku), the Castle (Rangiwheau), the Sisters (Rangitatahi), the Forty Fours (Motuhara), Stars Keys (Motuhope), and the Pyramid (Tarakoikoia). Besides this, further to the south-west near The Castle are Sail Rock (two spectacular rock stacks upon which the ocean swells hurl themselves). Sugar Loaf is another stacks, east of Mangere.

This island is famous of its sea birds especially black robin. Other endangered invertebrates include the Rangatira spider, Chathams giant click beetle, Pitt Island longhorn and giant stick insect. Skinks are abundant. Chatham Islands snipe and parakeets are common. Forbes' parakeet is far rarer than the red-crowned parakeet. Petrel and Shearwater burrows are common in places, and the shore platforms are home to Chatham Islands oystercatchers. 

The history of Chatham Islands can be viewed at 

The history of Moriori can be viewed at

The first populated land where the Sun will rise in the new millennium (and at the beginning of any other year) is at Kahuitara Point (44 16' S 176 9' W) on Pitt Island in the Chatham Islands. The sun's first rays of a new year strike Mt. Hakepa on Pitt Island, therefore in 2000 some enterprising Chatham Islanders managed to obtain Reserve Bank approval to issue their own banknote denominations as an unofficial but popular promotional project for the millennium event. A similar project to make 2001 dated 5 Dollars coins was not viewed so enthusiastically by the authorities (New Zealand government) and the issue was suppressed and objected before it got off the ground, but after some of the pieces had been struck. Although promotional material stated that only 5000 coins would be minted but it has advised that the actual figure is around 200.

Pictured on the obverse of the coin shows Tame Horomana Rehe Solomon, known as Tommy Solomon, the last full blooded Moriori, who died in 1933.

I purchased my five new millennium coin dated 2001 from Howard Mitchell / Lynne (, who are dealing with coins from Auckland, New Zealand.
Chiefa Coins