By Philippa Mein Smith
New Zealand was once the final significant landmass, except Antarctica, to be settled by way of people. the tale of this rugged and dynamic land is superbly narrated, from its origins in Gondwana a few eighty million years in the past to the twenty-first century. Philippa Mein Smith highlights the consequences of the country's smallness and isolation, from its overdue payment through Polynesian voyagers and colonisation by means of Europeans and the exchanges that made those humans Maori and Pakeha to the dramatic struggles over land and up to date efforts to regulate international forces.
A Concise background of latest Zealand areas New Zealand in its international and local context. It unravels key moments the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, the Anzac touchdown at Gallipoli, the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior exhibiting their function as nation-building myths and connecting them with the fewer dramatic forces, fiscal and social, that experience formed modern New Zealand.
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Extra resources for A Concise History of New Zealand (2nd Edition) (Cambridge Concise Histories)
For years, schoolchildren learned his version of Maori history: that the Polynesian ‘sea rover’, Kupe, discovered New Zealand about 950 AD, and that about 1350 a great fleet of seven canoes followed his instructions to reach the new country far to the south, a feat only possible because Maori ancestors were ‘fearless, sea-loving people’. This chronology and narrative history was subsequently debunked; but the idea of a planned migration has regained Waka across a watery world 15 authority, as has the timing of the first settlers’ arrival 500 years before Europeans.
The turning point which hooked New Zealand into the British Empire came in 1830, instigated by Te Rauparaha, who approached the English Captain Stewart for assistance against Ngai Tahu chief Te Maiharanui in revenge for the killing of Te Pehi Kupe. Stewart agreed to transport Te Rauparaha and 70 armed men to Akaroa Harbour on the brig Elizabeth in exchange for a cargo of dressed flax. At Akaroa the crew helped lure an unsuspecting Te Maiharanui into the captain’s cabin where he was handcuffed. The same evening Te Rauparaha’s warriors attacked the pa on shore.
Marriage networks ensured mana over both the people and the land: equilibrium required women as well as men. 2 Beachcrossers 1769–1839 So deep was Aotearoa in the watery world of the Pacific that it remained for long unknown to Europeans, other than as an imagined part of the mythical great southern land, Terra Australis. Surely there had to be a continent in the South Pacific to balance the weight of land in the Northern Hemisphere? As it proved, there was not. New Zealand is immersed in the Pacific, surrounded for 2000 km by ocean, a fact that is reflected in Maori waka traditions.