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    1840s–early 20th century: Māori tradition and the Great Fleet

    Māori oral tradition From 1840 there were many collectors of Māori oral traditions, but these accounts did not agree on a date of arrival, who arrived, the number of vessels, or the exact point of departure in Polynesia. However, there were some points of ...


    Suppression and revival

    Impact of missionaries From the 1820s missionaries tried to suppress traditional Māori sports and games, regarding them as manifestations of a pagan culture. Strange new laws The ethnologist Elsdon Best records a kaumātua saying: ‘We were much puzzled abo ...


    Church building and missions

    A settler church Unlike the Anglican, Methodist and Catholic churches, the Presbyterian Church did not send missionaries to New Zealand. It arrived only after colonisation had begun, as a church for settlers. The first minister, John McFarlane, was among ...


    Early human impact

    Like many groups of islands in the Pacific, New Zealand was very sensitive to human settlement. Its unique plants and animals had been isolated for millions of years, evolving in the absence of people and mammalian predators. Almost as soon as the first h ...


    Pre-European deforestation

    Continuous forest cover Before people arrived, more than 80% of New Zealand was covered in dense forest. Pollen and charcoal records from over 150 lake, swamp or peat bog sediment core samples give a clear picture of the country’s vegetation and fire hist ...


    Modern revival

    the tribes in various forums. Individual members now have access to educational scholarships, and ...



    Porirua 2013 population: 51,717 A planned city After the Second World War, the government acted on an urgent need for new housing. As the site for a new city, Porirua was ideal. It had plenty of cheap land and was already linked to Wellington by rail, and ...


    Leadership after colonisation

    Colonisation and Māori women Māori women traditionally had a say in the affairs of the tribe. A newspaper editorial in 1861 noted the participation of Māori women in the rūnanga: ‘Ta te [M]aori, me hui katoa, te iti te rahi, te tane te wahine, te koroheke ...


    Māori buildings and marae

    Ōtaki At Ōtaki, the Ngāti Raukawa tribe’s wharenui (meeting house), built in 1936, is an example of traditional carving and decoration in modern materials. Nearby, the rebuilt Rangiātea Church symbolises a synthesis of Māori and European spirituality. Chu ...