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History Of New Zealand

Australia and OceaniaNew ZealandHistory Of New Zealand

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New Zealand was one of the last large land masses to be colonised by humans. Radiocarbon dating, evidence of deforestation and mitochondrial DNA variability in Māori populations suggest that New Zealand was first settled by East Polynesians between 1250 and 1300, completing a long series of voyages across the South Pacific islands. Over the following centuries, these settlers developed their own culture, now known as Māori. The population was divided into iwi (tribes) and hapū (sub-tribes), which sometimes cooperated, sometimes competed and sometimes fought each other. At some point, a group of Māori migrated to the Chatham Islands (which they called Rēkohu), where they developed their own Moriori culture. The Moriori population virtually disappeared between 1835 and 1862, largely due to the invasion and enslavement of the Taranaki Māori in the 1830s, although European diseases also contributed. In 1862, only 101 people survived and the last known full-blooded Moriori died in 1933.

The first known Europeans to reach New Zealand were the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman and his crew in 1642. In a hostile encounter, four crew members were killed and at least one Māori was shot. Europeans did not visit New Zealand until 1769, when the British explorer James Cook mapped almost the entire coastline. After Cook, New Zealand was visited by many European and North American whaling, sealing and trading ships. They traded European food, metal tools, weapons and other goods for timber, Māori food, artefacts and water. The introduction of the potato and the musket changed Māori agriculture and warfare. The potato provided a reliable food surplus that allowed for longer and more sustained military campaigns. The resulting inter-tribal musket wars led to more than 600 battles between 1801 and 1840, in which 30,000 to 40,000 Māori were killed. Christian missionaries began settling in New Zealand as early as the early 19th century, eventually converting most of the Māori population. In the 19th century, the Māori population dropped to about 40 % of pre-contact levels; introduced diseases were the main factor.

In 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip took office as governor of the new British colony of New South Wales, which, according to his commission, included New Zealand. The British government appointed James Busby as British Resident in New Zealand in 1832, following a petition from the Māori of the North. After Charles de Thierry announced imminent French settlement, the United Tribes of New Zealand sent a declaration of independence to King William IV of the United Kingdom in 1835, asking for his protection. The ongoing unrest, the proposal to colonise New Zealand by the New Zealand Company (which had already sent its first survey ship to buy land from the Māori) and the questionable legal status of the Declaration of Independence prompted the Colonial Office to send Captain William Hobson to claim British sovereignty and negotiate a treaty with the Māori. The Treaty of Waitangi was first signed in the Bay of Islands on 6 February 1840. In response to the New Zealand Company’s attempts to establish an independent colony in Wellington and French settlers buying land in Akaroa, Hobson declared British sovereignty over all of New Zealand on 21 May 1840, although copies of the treaty were still circulating around the country for the Māori to sign. With the signing of the treaty and the declaration of sovereignty, the number of immigrants, especially from the United Kingdom, began to increase.

New Zealand, still part of the colony of New South Wales, became an independent colony of New Zealand on 1 July 1841. The colony was given a representative government in 1852 and the first parliament met in 1854. In 1856 the colony became effectively self-governing and assumed responsibility for all domestic affairs except native policy. (Control over native politics was granted in the mid-1860s). Due to concerns about the South Island forming its own colony, Prime Minister Alfred Domett proposed a resolution to move the capital, Auckland, to a parish near Cook Strait. Wellington was chosen for its harbour and central location after it was first officially considered by Parliament in 1865. As the number of immigrants increased, land disputes led to the New Zealand Wars of the 1860s and 1870s, which resulted in the loss and confiscation of much Māori land.

In 1891, the Liberal Party, led by John Ballance, came to power as the first organised political party. The Liberal government, later led by Richard Seddon, passed many important social and economic measures. In 1893, New Zealand became the first nation in the world to grant all women the right to vote, and in 1894 it was the first country to introduce compulsory arbitration between employers and trade unions. In 1898, the Seddon government passed the Old Age Pensions Act 1898, the first universal pension scheme in the British Empire.

In 1907, at the request of the New Zealand Parliament, King Edward VII proclaimed New Zealand a Dominion within the British Empire, reflecting its autonomous status. Accordingly, the title “Dominion of New Zealand” dates from 1907. In 1947, the country passed the Statute of Westminster, which confirmed that the British Parliament could no longer legislate for New Zealand without its consent.

At the beginning of the 20th century, New Zealand was involved in world affairs, fighting in the First and Second World Wars and suffering from the Great Depression. The Depression led to the election of the first Labour government and the establishment of a comprehensive welfare state and a protectionist economy. After World War II, New Zealand experienced increasing prosperity and Māori began to leave their traditional rural life and move to the cities in search of work. A Māori protest movement developed, criticising Eurocentrism and campaigning for greater recognition of Māori culture and the Treaty of Waitangi. In 1975, a Waitangi Tribunal was established to investigate alleged violations of the Treaty, and in 1985 it was empowered to investigate historical grievances. The government has negotiated settlements of these grievances with many iwi, although Māori claims to the foreshore and seabed proved contentious in the 2000s.

How To Travel To New Zealand

By plane New Zealand is very far from any other country, so most travellers fly to New Zealand. The flight time alone from the east coast of Australia is over 3 hours. Auckland and Christchurch are the main entry points. More than 20 airlines connect Auckland Airport with over 35 destinations...

How To Travel Around New Zealand

By bus Buses are a relatively cheap and environmentally friendly way to travel in New Zealand. Services are usually only available once a day, even between major cities. Most roads in New Zealand are quite narrow and winding (compared to US highways), and travelling a long distance by bus can...

Visa & Passport Requirements for New Zealand

Minimum validity of travel documents⦁ Citizens and permanent residents of New Zealand and Australia are only required to present a valid passport on the day of arrival and departure.⦁ Other persons entering New Zealand as visitors, students or temporary workers must present a passport valid for at least 3...

Destinations in New Zealand

Regions in New Zealand New Zealand is a very diverse country with many areas worth seeing, but at a high level it is easier to divide it into its two main islands and the smaller offshore islands. North IslandGentle, with landscapes ranging from sandy beaches, farmland and rolling forests to active...

Weather & Climate in New Zealand

New Zealand has a temperate maritime climate, characterized by warm summers, cool winters, as well as regular precipitation all year round. There are four seasons: Summer in December to February and Winter in June to August (the opposite of the Northern Hemisphere). The country's geography creates about 10 distinct...

Accommodation & Hotels in New Zealand

New Zealand offers a wide range of accommodation. Luxury hotels of international quality can be found in the larger cities. New Zealanders seem to have perfected the art of staying in a private home at a high price. Luxury lodges are the high-end equivalent of the bed-and-breakfast market and there...

Things to see in New Zealand

Mountains, lakes and glaciers You could say that in New Zealand it is the landscape that is beautiful, and perhaps nowhere more so than in the Southern Alps of the South Island. In Mackenzie country, the jagged snowy peaks rising above the turquoise lakes have inspired many postcards. The country's...

Things To Do in New Zealand

Outdoor and adventure activities include: Abseiling from WaitomoRound trip (helicopter and plane)BirdwatchingBlack water rafting (rafting in caves)Boat toursBungy Jump Queenstown, Auckland, Taupo - the modern bungy jump was invented here by New Zealander A.J. Hackett.Canoeing and kayaking on rivers and lakesCanyoningCaving: Waitomo, Nelson, West Coast of the South Island, Te...

Food & Drinks in New Zealand

Food in New Zealand Modern New Zealand cuisine is mainly influenced by the country's British heritage, although immigrants have begun to give it Mediterranean and Asian-Pacific accents since the 1950s. The Māori have their own traditional cuisine. The evening meal, called dinner or tea, is considered the main meal of...

Money & Shopping in New Zealand

The currency in New Zealand The currency in New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD, $), divided into 100 cents. It is freely floating and exchange rates can change dramatically in just one week. As of October 2015, one US dollar is exchanged for about 1.50 New Zealand dollars....

Festivals & Holidays in New Zealand

Public holidays in New Zealand are as follows: 1 January: New Year's Day2 January: New Year6 February: Waitangi Day, marking the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840.Easter weekend: a four-day weekend in March or April (set according to Western Christian dates) that includes Good Friday,...

Traditions & Customs in New Zealand

Social behavior New Zealanders are generally warm and sociable, but they keep strangers at bay. New Zealand is a country where the words "please" and "thank you" can be used more than once in a sentence without being inappropriate, and where an initial rejection of an offer is part of polite...

Language & Phrasebook in New Zealand

English is the main language of New Zealand, spoken by 97% of the population, and one of the country's three official languages. Te Reo Māori, the language of New Zealand's indigenous Māori people, and New Zealand Sign Language, the language of New Zealand's deaf community, are the other two...

Internet & Communications in New Zealand

Phone New Zealand has a well-developed and extensive telephone system. The country's former telephone company, Spark, claimed in 2009 that there were about 4,000 phone boxes in New Zealand, easily recognisable by their yellow and blue colours, but these numbers are now declining. They accept all major credit cards and...

Culture Of New Zealand

Initially, the Māori adapted the tropical culture of eastern Polynesia to the challenges associated with a larger and more diverse environment, and eventually developed their own distinctive culture. Social organisation was essentially community-based, with families (whanau), sub-tribes (hapu) and tribes (iwi) led by a chief (rangatira) whose position was...

Stay Safe & Healthy in New Zealand

Stay safe in New Zealand The main emergency number in New Zealand is 111 and can be used to contact ambulance, fire, police, coastguard and rescue services. 112 works from mobile phones; 911 and 999 can work but are not dependent on them. You can call *555 from your mobile...

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