The ongoing Maori struggle to enter a direct and fruitful educational relationship with Europeans has its roots in a period earlier than most people realise: prior to the first permanent Pakeha settlement in New Zealand in 1814. And it began in a surprising place: Australia. The New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies in 1971 published an article by Australian educational historian B.J. Bridges entitled 'The First 'New Zealand' School: The Maori Seminary, Parramatta, 1815-1827'. Apart from that article, Maori study of European society in Australia in the first three decades of the nineteenth century has had very little attention. Yet the story of early Maori engagement with schooling is instructive for those interested in Maori-European educational relationships. Bridges sketched an outline of the 'New Zealand Seminary' in Parramatta; this paper puts some flesh on the bones of his account by naming some of the Maori in Australia and revealing more about the first attempts by Bay of Islands Maori to learn about modern European life.