According to Countryaah, Aotearoa, “the land of the great white cloud,” was populated in the 9th century by Maoris who arrived from Polynesia. Over the years, a unique culture developed that reached a considerable level in textile manufacturing, house building, boat building – canoes – and in horticulture. The environment was respected as the Maoris considered themselves to be the guardians of natural resources and responsible for subsequent generations.
The Dutchman Abel Tasman arrived in South Island in 1642, which is the largest of the two most important islands, but the fierce resistance of the indigenous people prevented his departure. It was not until 1769 that the Englishman James Cook recorded the coastlines of the two most important islands, and in this way helped open the doors to the subsequent colonization of the land which Abel Tasman had called “New Zealand”. The first Europeans to settle down were whalers, sailors and traders. There, in addition to a handful of fleet deserters and some escaped prisoners from Australia.
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The colonization took off in the early 19th century, with the arrival of British emigrants and missionaries. Their presence brought new diseases, new norms and new faiths to the islands, which radically changed the life of the Maoris. Christianity weakened the traditions of tribal societies, and the introduction of Europeans’ trade practices had a decisive and negative impact on Maori living conditions.
In 1840, the English throne officially proclaimed New Zealand to be a British colony. The two large islands became occupied under widely different forms. South Island logically because of the “discovery” and North Island based on the Waitanga Agreement signed in 1840 by the Maori leaders and representatives of the English government. According to the wording of the treaty, Maori leaders accepted the presence of English colonialists and the establishment of a government representing the English crown. On the other hand, the Maoris received promises of unlimited sovereignty as an independent nation.
Shortly after the signing of this agreement, a particularly violent era began, with expropriations of Maori land. The so-called “wars of land”, where open conflicts between Europeans and Maoris, were fundamental conflicts over the supremacy of and defense of the land, forests, fisheries and other “taongas”, treasures.
Massive immigration led to the gradual incorporation of Maori territories. The extent of their losses becomes obvious when one considers that the 27 million acres they owned in 1840 are now reduced to slightly more than 1 million acres.
While the North was shaken by the wars, the South experienced a time of prosperity and prosperity, thanks to significant gold finds. These findings sparked a stream of English, Chinese and Australian immigrants, which significantly helped to give the economy a facelift.
By the end of 1840 colonization accelerated. The Pakehas – the foreign, non-Maori – settled on fishing rights, thus depriving the indigenous peoples of one of their most important sources of income.
Against this backdrop, the Maori opposition took action in the late 19th century, organizing inquiries, requests, delegations, and submitting their grievances to the local courts and even to the British Crown, demanding unlimited Waitangi compliance. Treaty wh ~ ch. However, the initiatives were fruitless: the lands of the Maoris were involved in agriculture, which had begun to play a prominent role, not only for the colonizers but also in the motherland. With the development of the first freezer halls that enabled long-distance shipping, access to new markets for intensive milk and meat production was opened. With rising prices over 20 years, these products became the basis of the country’s economic development.
For the Maoris, British domination at the same time marked the beginning of cultural extinction, in the light of the unlawful introduction of language, religion and European traditions.
At the end of the century, in 1893, the liberal government, which dominated the political scene, became the first in the world to introduce women’s suffrage and to defend the rights of the British proletariat which advanced in the cities and in the numerous factories of the industry.