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Year 9 Brief Maori History

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A Brief Maori History Time Line



1300 A general time from which, according to archaeological evidence, the first early Polynesian explorers began settling NZ. During the period of 1300-1800, Maori developed a unique and sophisticated culture.

1821 Hongi Hika returns from a visit to London, having traded gifts for muskets in Port Jackson. Later that year he set off with a huge taua (war party) to attack Ngati Paoa near present-day Auckland. This was the beginning of almost ten years of inter-tribal slaughter in the North Island and upper South Island. Hongi Hika died in 1928 of wounds received after plundering the Wesleyan mission, at Whangaroa.

1823 Arrival of Rev. Henry Williams as head of the Church Missionary Society, who reforms its work and begins it on a path to successful missionary work over the next ten years.

1831 New South Wales' Governor Darling issues a proclamation outlawing the trade in tattooed and dried Maori heads.

1840 The Treaty of Waitangi is first signed. Over the next several months copies were circulated around the North Island and upper South Island for signing.

1844 The flagstaff at Kororareka is cut down for the first time. Governor Fitzroy offers a ?100 reward for Hone Heke's capture after he cut down the flagstaff at Kororareka (Russell) for the second time; Heke offered a similar reward for Fitzroy's capture! In 1845 Heke and Kawiti attacked Kororareka, cutting down the flagpole for the fourth time. In 1846 British troops finally defeated Hone Heke and Kawiti at Ruapekapeka pa in uncertain circumstances. A truce was agreed to, ending the conflict.

1846 Martial law is proclaimed in Wellington and hostilities begin between Maori and Pakeha settlers in the Hutt Valley. The last conflict of the 'Southern Wars' around the Wellington/Wanganui area occurred in 1846-1847 at St John's Wood, Wanganui.

1863 The "Waikato Wars" begin when General Cameron's forces cross the Mangatawhiri River, three days before the Kingites receive Governor Grey's declaration of war. The main battles took place at Meremere, Rangiriri and Orakau (as well as at Gate Pa in the Bay of Plenty). During the Waikato phase of the NZ Wars the Forest Rangers, led by the 'swashbuckling' Captain Gustavus von Tempsky, were formed to counter superb Maori guerrilla tactics. In 1864 a reluctant Rewi Maniapoto made his 'last stand' at Orakau. Over 300 Maori withstood five British assaults before evacuating with heavy losses. This phase of the NZ Wars ended after a battle at Te Ranga in 1864.

1865 Governor Grey issues the Raupatu Proclamation, declaring that nearly three million acres of 'rebel land', mainly in the Waikato, Taranaki and Bay of Plenty area, was to be confiscated. This area was some of the richest farming land, and it had been greatly desired by settlers.

1858 Potatau Te Wherowhero accepts the role of first Maori King. Tawhiao became King in 1860, Mahuta in 1894 and Te Rata in 1912. In 1914 Te Rata went to London to seek redress of Waikato grievances, but with no real success. Koroki became King in 1933 and Te Atairangikaahu became the first Maori Queen in 1966

1865 The Native Land Act is passed, allowing communal ownership of Maori land to be turned into individual ownership once the Native Land Court had determined ownership. This had the effect of making it far easier for land to move into Pakeha ownership, resulting in a huge increase in land sales.

1879 Native Schools are progressively brought under the control of the Education Department in order to better assimilate Maori. By 1886, lessons were taught only in English. The speaking of Maori in classrooms was forbidden, a policy that remained in place until 1931. The teaching of te reo was introduced for the first time in 1971 in three Auckland Intermediate Schools. In 1982 the first kohanga reo ('language nest') was set up, in Wainouiomata, in an effort to revive the Maori language.

1896 A census shows the Maori population is at its lowest ebb - 39,854 and 3503 'half-castes'. From this point the population begins to recover, and by 1945 it had passed 100,000. By the year 2000 600,000 people identified themselves as Maori. About 90% lived in urban centres.

1915 A Maori contingent of 500 soldiers leaves Wellington for Egypt during WWI.

1921 Native Affairs Minister Gordon Coates begins, for the first time, to deal with Maori land grievances that date back to the NZ Wars of the 1860s.

1928 Ngati Porou leader Apirana Ngata becomes Native Minister in the United government. He is responsible for introducing land development schemes to many tribal areas, allowing Maori to become more economically active. Ngata lost his parliamentary seat in 1943 to a Ratana candidate, and he died in 1950. He was probably the greatest Maori leader of the 20th century

1947 The word 'Native' is replaced by 'Maori' in government departments. This reflects the important Maori Economic and Welfare Act of 1945.

1960 The Hunn Report, the most far-reaching report on Maori issues, is released. It identified poor education as the major obstacle to Maori achievement in (Pakeha) society.

1975 The Waitangi Tribunal, a body to investigate Maori grievances regarding breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi, is established. It was not until an amendment in 1985 that the Tribunal was allowed to investigate grievances back as far as 1840.

1975 The Labour government introduces its official 'Maori policy' of bi-culturalism, recognising Maori as partners. This replaced the long-standing policy of assimilation.

1975 Whina Cooper and supporters set out on a hikoi (Maori Land March) from Te Hapua in the north to Wellington. Their main theme is "Not An Acre More" with regard to the continuing loss of Maori land. The main grievance that prompted the hikoi was the 1967 Maori Affairs Amendment Act, called the 'last land grab' by Maori.

1977 Maori protestors begin a 16-month occupation at Bastion Point as the government announces plans to sell Ngati Whatua land to developers. Protest leader Joe Hawke was not supported by Ngati Whatua elders. Over 220 protesters were arrested when the police finally moved in. The Waitangi Tribunal, however, found in favour of Ngati Whatua. Some land was returned and compensation paid.

1978 Seventeen people are arrested as part of Eva Rickard's land protest at the Raglan golf course, an action inspired by the both the 1975 hikoi and the Bastion Point occupation. In 1979 the land under dispute was returned to Tainui Awhiro.

1981 Ngaiterangi and Ngati Ranginui receive compensation, an apology and have their 'rebel status' - dating back to the NZ Wars of the 1860s - removed.

1981 The newly formed Waitangi Action Committee disrupts Waitangi Day celebrations, demanding the honouring of the Treaty of Waitangi. In a related action, members of He Taua, a Maori activist group, struggle with engineering students who refuse to stop performing a mock haka as a capping event. In 1984 more than 2000 people participate in a 10-day hikoi (march) to protest against Waitangi Day celebrations. Protesters say that the government must address Maori grievances.

1986 The New Zealand Maori Council successfully challenges the State Owned Enterprise Act. Subsequent laws must take into account Treaty of Waitangi principles.

1987 Te reo is recognised in law as an official language of NZ.

1992 The 'Sealord Deal' settles a Maori fisheries' claim, with a total value of $170 million. In 1995 Tainui settled a $170 million package with the government for its claim regarding land confiscated during the NZ Wars of the 1860s. The following year Ngai Tahu also settled a $170million package with the government for its claim regarding reserves which were never set aside from 19th century land sales.

1994 Maori activist Mike Smith attacks the One Tree Hill pine with a chainsaw. In 1997 the America's Cup was smashed with a sledgehammer by protester Benjamin Nathan. In 2000 the dying One Tree Hill pine tree was removed by the Auckland Council.

1999 Auckland's Waipereira Trust, headed by John Tamihere, is for the first time officially recognised as an 'urban iwi/tribe'.


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