Colonization Of New Zealand Essay

814 words - 4 pages

Brooke Bragenzer
Period 2
New Zealand Colonization
The history of New Zealand dates back at least 700 years to when it was discovered and settled by Polynesians, who developed a distinct Māori culture centered on kinship links and land. The first European explorer to sight New Zealand was Abel Janszoon Tasman on 13 December 1642. Captain James Cook, who reached New Zealand in October 1769 on the first of his three voyages, was the first European explorer to circumnavigate and map New Zealand

Polynesian Settlement
Aotearoa (the Maori name for New Zealand, which translates as 'Land of the Long White Cloud') was first settled by Maori between 950 and 1130 AD. Highly sophisticated ocean ...view middle of the document...

It was not until 1840 when a number of Maori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, ceding governance to Britain, that the new colony was opened for mass European settlement.
European settlement in Aotearoa had a profound effect on Maori life and customs. Policies of enforced assimilation meant the loss of traditional Maori society, traditions and language. European endemic diseases such as Influenza also spread rapidly amongst Maori, who possessed no immunity to such diseases. The Maori population, estimated at 85,000 in the mid 1700s, fell to just over 40,000 by the end of the 19th century.

Colonial Heritage
The vast majority of New Zealand settlers in the 19th century were of British descent. Land Agents such as The New Zealand Company were responsible for organised resettlement schemes which attracted thousands of immigrants to the new colony. Most British immigrants came from the lower middle-classes and arrived in New Zealand seeking freedom from the repressive class structures of Britain. Other significant migrant groups at this time included Chinese gold prospectors and Dalmatian Kauri-gum diggers.
New Zealand settlement was characterised by a period of Maori land alienation, and a number of conflicts (notably the New Zealand Wars of the 1850s and 60s). Generally colonialism in New Zealand was not as overtly repressive or violent as other parts of the world, but negative nonetheless.
Interestingly, in 1893 New Zealand was the first...

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