New Zealand History

New Zealand People

New Zealand history is closely related to New Zealand people and is split into two distinct phases the pre-European and recent one.

Pre–European history of New Zealand belongs to the original migrants the Moriori or so called Moa (a 3,7m tall flightless bird) hunters and the recent one to European settlers.

Moriori and Maori both are today believed to origin from the Polynesian Islands. Their difference is the timely arrival. It is possible they arrived around 800 AD and earlier. Historical events are in Maori tradition orally passed on from generation to generation. Differences in their storyline occur according to the teller.

Widely accepted is that Kupe a Polynesian navigator discovered New Zealand 950 AD when sailing in his waka from Hawaiiki. From this time New Zealand carries the name Aotearoa the land of the long white cloud. With different migration streams more fleets of wakas and their iwi reached New Zealand shores. Iwis are the tribes around which Maori societies revolve.

Before the main migration stream arrived at the shores there were the deserting sealers, whalers, and Australian ex-convicts. These first migrants were often called Pakeha Maori who were living in the early days amongst Maori people and often spoke Maori language fluently.

With growing numbers of migrants landing ashore, planning to make New Zealand theirs New Zealand wars ignited. Clashing cultures and perceptions between the indigenous people and the settlers led to conflicts within the last century.

Struggle without end takes on to review the conflicts over the last centuries out of the view of the Maori population.

Michel King in return approaches Pakeha population in modern New Zealand , how their migration to new lands affected their sense of identity, which is now redefined in being New Zealander.

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Same country, same time yet very different perspectives, influences, and motivations claim their part in New Zealand history. The outcome is multi-coloured and multi-ethnic New Zealand people.

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NZ people and their part in New Zealand history

Maori population

Maori people were the first to migrate to Aotearoa. When more and more European settler arrived the Treaty of Waitangi was drafted amongst others by William Hobson. The Treaty was signed by settlers and Maori People to organise a mutual life.

Both traditions and traditional skills play an important part in their cultural idendity. Therefore their knowledge is actively passed on and made available to all. Maori craft skills form the foundation to popular gifts among New Zealander and tourists.

Indian population in New Zealand

For more than one century Indians are part of New Zealand population. In recent years the immigration stream advanced enormously and made them the fourth strongest ethnic group. With their growing communities one of their most celebrated festivals the Diwali festival of lights established. Each year the festival is celebrated by thousands of New Zealander in Auckland and other parts of the country. 

Famous New Zealand people that shape(d) New Zealand history

Kate Sheppard was an important leader in promoting an equal right to vote for NZ women and thus shaping New Zealand history.

Samuel Duncan Parnell is remembered for his role in workers rights.

Jean Batten set many aviation world records.

Sir Edmund Hillary is known as the first person to climb to the summit of MT. Everest.

AJ Hackett is father of the iconic New Zealand bungy jumping.

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Specific locations in New Zealand history

One Tree Hill

The hill in the centre of Cornwall Park forms the core of Auckland history. John Logan Campbell interwoven in the history of Auckland named this beautiful volcanic cone with then a solitary totara tree on its summit. After an act of vandalism the last of the pine trees was cut in 2001. Today only an obelisk crowns the hill. Sometimes it is referred to as none tree hill. The 360 degree panoramic view still calls for admiration.

NZ Wineries in Auckland Region

The passion and skill Dalmatian migrants, that arrived 1858 at New Zealand shores, brought for wine is identifiable in the names related to, e.g. Soljan, Ivicevich, Nobilo.

They left their small province at the Adriatic coast with limited prospects to supporting its inhabitants to secure survival to their families.

Many started out as gum diggers to whom this memorial in Dargaville refers.

Akaroa on Banks Peninsula

French Akaroa

The harbour quality of Akaroa started the almost career of the South Island to become one of French colonies. The Pacific Ocean was yet to be acquainted on French colonization plans. With the North Island in the centre of British and Maori interests the South Island was propelled into the middle of French trading interests.

The French whaler Captain Jean-Francois Langlois distinguished this in 1838 as an ideal location to service whaling ships. About 60 French whaling ships sailed regularly the waters between Australia and New Zealand.

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