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Transcript of New Zealand
New Zealand was originally settled by Polynesians, around 1280CE
The descendants of these settlers became known as the Maori people, they created a new culture of their own.
The original settlers exploited the large game that roamed the bush of New Zealand. Causing animals like the Moa, a large flightless bird, to become extinct.
They started to grow food, like Kumara (sweet Potato) and Taro
Warfare also became important as there was competition between the different tribes for land and other resources.
Important units of pre-European Maori society were; first the Whanau (extended family); then the Hapu (the family group); then the iwi (tribe).
Traditional Maori society preserved its history orally through narratives, song and chants. The Waita and the haka, weaving, ta moko etc.
British explorer Captain James Cook arrived some 100 years after Tasman, 1769-1770. He anglicised the name to New Zealand.
Most contact between Maori and Europeans was peaceful. From the early 19th Century missionaries began to settle in New Zealand. Farmers and Labourers also travelled to New Zealand
The effect of the contact varied. Inland tribes continued on with things unchanged. But other tribes who had a lot of European contact underwent major changes.
Pre-European Maori only had spears and the introduction of the musket had an enormous impact on Maori warfare.
From 1805 to 1843 the Musket Wars raged until a new balance of power was achieved after most of the tribes had acquired muskets.
Many Maori, at this time, converted to Christianity. The reasons why have been hotly debated and there are many theories why.
European settlement increased through the early decades of the 19th century, with numerous trading stations established, especially in the North.
Many Europeans bought land from the Maori, but misunderstanding and different concepts of land ownership let to conflict and bitterness.
On the 6th February 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in Waitangi, between the English settlers and the Maori.
The Treaty gave the Maori sovereignty of their lands and possessions and all the rights of British citizens. But dispute over what the true meaning of the treaty remain an issue.
As more Pakeha or Europeans came to New Zealand the Maori were pressured to sell more and more land.
Competition over the lands is what lead to the ‘New Zealand Wars’ or the ‘Land Wars’, this was where colonial troops took land from Maori in some areas.
The wars and confiscations left bitterness which has lasted to this day.
The Treaty of Waitangi is being used as a guide to settle Maori land claims.
The Waitangi tribunal or Treaty of Waitangi court, looks into all the claims and negotiates with the local tribes and the local government and/or farmers.
The South Island, which had very few Maori, was peaceful during the Land Wars.
110,000 men fought in WW1. The heroism of the soldiers in the failed Gallipoli campaign, 25th April 1915, made their sacrifices iconic in New Zealand memory and secured the psychological independence of the nation.
The New Zealand soldiers who fought in both wars were greatly respected, largely those who were in the Maori and Pacific battalions.
Abel Tasman was the first, known, European explorer to reach New Zealand in December of 1642.
He named the islands Staten Landt. In 1645 the name was changed to Nova Zeelandia in latin, from Nieuw Zeeland, after the Dutch province of Zeeland.