VOC headquarters were located in Ambon during the tenures of the first three Governors General (1610–1619), but it was not a satisfactory location. Although it was at the centre of the spice production areas, it was far from the Asian trade routes and other VOC areas of activity ranging from Africa to India to Japan.   A location in the west of the archipelago was thus sought. The Straits of Malacca were strategic but had become dangerous following the Portuguese conquest, and the first permanent VOC settlement in Banten was controlled by a powerful local ruler and subject to stiff competition from Chinese and English traders. 
After this digression let us return to the stand-point taken up by the North-Netherlanders who first set sail for the Indies in 1595. They "knew in part" only: they were aware that they knew nothing with certitude. But their mercantile interests very soon induced them to try to increase and strengthen their information concerning the regions of the East. What sort of country after all was this much-discussed New-Guinea, they began to ask. As early as 1602 information was sought from the natives of adjacent islands, but these proved to have "no certain knowledge of this island of Nova Guinea" [*]. The next step taken was the sending out of a ship for the purpose of obtaining this "certain knowledge": there were rumours afloat of gold being found in New Guinea!