The Maori and the Crown: An Indigenous People's Struggle for Self-Determination

The Maori and the Crown: An Indigenous People's Struggle for Self-Determination

The Maori and the Crown: An Indigenous People's Struggle for Self-Determination

The Maori and the Crown: An Indigenous People's Struggle for Self-Determination

Synopsis

When early explorers and settlers arrived in New Zealand, they found the islands already populated by the Polynesian Maori people. This account details the interaction between the Maori leaders and the British Crown from first contact to New Zealand's eventual autonomy. As settlers outnumbered Maori, the struggle for land resulted in war and confiscations, and Maori loss of land and traditional lifestyle was accompanied by widespread ill health. It would be well into the twentieth century before the Crown would have to address promises made to the Maori in the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi, and the resulting efforts of the Waitangi Tribunal would forever change Maori relations with the Pakeha (New Zealanders of European descent).

Excerpt

Dora Alves has done an outstanding job in her study on New Zealand's experience in redressing the grievances of its native people, The Maori and the Crown. She describes in early chapters how the Maori, despite their great war fighting capability and the protection guaranteed by the Treaty of Waitangi, were gradually overwhelmed by the settlers and unfairly relieved of their rights, their land, and ultimately their pride. Shifting to modern times and drawing on a wide variety of up-to-date sources, Dr. Alves focuses with skillful perception on the efforts of New Zealand's leadership to right past wrongs. She outlines how enlightened and imaginative efforts by both Maori and Pakeha have broken through the political and economic barriers and gradually begun to restore basic land, fishing, and other rights to the Maori people. In the final sections of her book, she describes New Zealand's attempts to address the litany of social issues and to bring Maori into the mainstream of modern New Zealand society.

New Zealand's approach to the thorny issues surrounding Maori- Pakeha relations has been singular in its fairness, comprehensiveness, and inventiveness. Anyone interested or engaged in resolving the questions of indigenous peoples' grievances will find excellent guidance in this fine summary of one pace-setting nation's experience.

Paul Cleveland

Former U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand . . .

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