The Long Dispute: Maori Land Rights and European Colonisation in Southern New Zealand

The Long Dispute: Maori Land Rights and European Colonisation in Southern New Zealand

The Long Dispute: Maori Land Rights and European Colonisation in Southern New Zealand

The Long Dispute: Maori Land Rights and European Colonisation in Southern New Zealand

Synopsis

A history of the impact of European colonisation on the Maori of the South Island, drawn from both European and Maori sources. Illustrated with photographs and maps. An abridged and revised version of 'Te Waipounamu: The Greenstone Island', which won the 1994 New Zealand Book Award for non-fiction.

Excerpt

European nations rose or fell by warfare, and successful military commanders were their most celebrated heroes. So it was with Maori tribes. in the North Island of New Zealand there were many more tribes than in Te Wai Pounamu, so that pretexts for warfare among quarrelsome chiefs were endless. Ngati Toa of Kawhia, caught between the warring tribes of Waikato and Taranaki, had to struggle to survive. Late in the eighteenth century a chief arose among them who, although not of the noblest birth, became pre-eminent. As a child he was nicknamed 'Te Rauparaha' (The Convolvulus Leaf, when a Waikato chief proposed to eat him with a garnish of that plant. Te Rauparaha was of short but powerful build, narrow but thoughtful features, resounding voice, and great personal magnetism. Through his shrewd judgment, skilled diplomacy, and audacious stratagems, his fame spread far and wide. Clearly his atua was a powerful one.

In 1819 northern New Zealand was engulfed by musket wars unleashed by Nga Puhi, the first tribe to acquire muskets, under their fighting chief Hongi. Te Rauparaha, to escape this danger, led a heke of Ngati Toa 400 kilometres southward towards the straits of Raukawa Moana, hoping to secure his own musket supply by trading with ships there. At Horowhenua, within sight of the straits, the resident Muaupoko tribe were suspicious of Te Rauparaha. Their chiefs invited him to a feast, then attacked him in the night. He narrowly escaped, but his children were killed.

Rugged Kapiti Island, at the northern entrance to Raukawa Moana, was an ideal base for the musket trade. Te Rauparaha wrested it from Muaupoko and Ngati Apa in 1823. He then by a ruse captured Hotuiti, a stronghold of local Rangitane and Ngati Apa, killing many of their chiefs. These tribes together retaliated, and . . .

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