New Zealand Old History

By | January 2, 2023

New Zealand is an independent nation in Polynesia. With the capital city of Wellington, New Zealand 2020 population is estimated at 4,822,244 according to countryaah. Probably the Maoris from Polynesia in the Pacific came to New Zealand between the 800s and 1200s. The Europeans became known to the Europeans in 1642. In the 19th century, whalers and missionaries arrived, and in a treaty in 1840 the Maoris recognized the British crown’s supremacy. Despite the promise of protection of Maori land rights, the British forcibly took over the best land, and in diseases and battles more than halved the number of Maori. New Zealand introduced female suffrage in 1893.

It is unclear exactly when and how the Moorish indigenous people came to New Zealand – or Aotearoa (the land of the long white cloud) as it is called in the Maori language. They probably came from eastern Polynesia in rounds between the 8th and 13th centuries. According to a Moorish legend, New Zealand was discovered by the Polynesian sailor Kupe, who arrived in the islands after following an octopus out to sea.

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For Europeans, New Zealand first became known when Dutchman Abel Tasman, on behalf of the East India Company, crossed the west coast of the islands in 1642. Dutch authorities gave the country its name after the province of Zeeland in the Netherlands. Just over 100 years later, the British explorer James Cook landed, exploring the coasts of the country in 1769-1770. Cook met a Maori people who were divided into several self-governing tribes, who often fought bloody battles against each other. The Europeans gave the Maori iron tools in exchange for food. For New Zealand political system, please check diseaseslearning.

In the 1790s, European seal and whale catchers began to establish themselves on the New Zealand coasts and after the turn of the century New Zealand became the basis for the whale and seal hunting in the Antarctic waters. With the whalers came the missionaries, and both Protestants and Catholics set up mission stations. In the mid-19th century, most Maoris were considered Christians.

War between Maoris and colonizers

The settlers’ demands on land created constant conflicts between Maoris and Europeans. Through the Waitangi Treaty of 1840, the Maoris recognized the British crown’s supremacy over New Zealand, and in return the British would protect the Maoris and guarantee their right to land. The Waitangi Treaty was signed by many, but far from all, Maori rulers. Soon a dispute arose as to how the agreement should be interpreted and the result was long-standing wars between the colonizers and the Maoris on the North Island. The war resulted in the deaths of about 1,800 Maoris and about 800 Europeans, and British victories took control of much of the Maoris’ land, often the best land.

As a result of European diseases and the use of the new firearms in the tribal war, the number of Maoris decreased rapidly. At the arrival of the Europeans, there were between 100,000 and 250,000 Maoris on the islands. By the end of the 19th century, they were just over 40,000.

In 1852, the British colony gained limited autonomy and from the decade thereafter, when gold was found on the South Island, immigration increased. The development of the North Island was halted by the fighting with the Maoris, but on the South Island sheep breeding began to gain momentum. Particularly important was the development of cooling technology. In 1882, for the first time, a cargo of meat and dairy products went to Europe.

To the United Kingdom, growing quantities of wool, meat, butter and cheese were brought, and in exchange for these products, New Zealand up to the 1950s received almost everything the country needed for industrial goods.

Voting rights for Maoris

In 1867, the Maoris gained voting rights and four seats in parliament. The first prominent Maori politicians were all academics trained in a Western tradition.

Towards the end of the 19th century, a number of social reforms were implemented that laid the foundation for a welfare state. New Zealand introduced female voting rights in 1893. It was also legislated on shorter working hours, national pensions and mandatory mediation in labor disputes.

As a British colony, New Zealand participated in both world wars with great losses, especially 1914-1918.

The 1935 election led the Labor Party to power for the first time. A radical political program was launched: housing, road and rail construction began, 40-hour work week and free health care were introduced, and trade union membership became mandatory for all employees. The farmers were guaranteed a fixed price for butter and cheese. At the same time, through special laws, the Maoris were allowed to become small farmers on better terms than before. The reforms were financed, among other things, by raising taxes.



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New Zealand Old History