NZ in the 19th century

Page 5 – Revision activities for NCEA history

There are many features available on NZHistory to help you prepare for NCEA Level people, place and event themes relating to the 19th century. Many of the significant decisions and situations of the period are addressed by this site. You might want to consider discussing your answers with your teacher as part of your preparation for your exams.

1. The Musket Wars

Tens of thousands of Māori died in the nationwide intertribal Musket Wars of the 1810s, 1820s and 1830s. Thousands more were enslaved or became refugees. Muskets (ngutu parera) changed the face of intertribal warfare. In addition to the numbers killed and enslaved, these conflicts drastically shifted the boundaries of the areas that iwi controlled.

The validity of the term ‘musket wars' has become a source of historical debate. Some historians argue that the musket contributed to Māori history rather than determined it, and that these wars would have occurred regardless of European contact – the musket was merely a new tool.

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Activities

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2. Pre-1840 contact

The period before 1840 is sometimes described as the race relations apprenticeship. Several high-profile incidents in the period before the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 gave the impression of poor relations between Māori and Pākehā. The British Resident from 1833, James Busby, painted a picture of 'extreme frontier chaos'. The impact on Māori of contact with Pākehā before 1840 was a significant issue in the 19th century.

The fact of the matter was that violence between the races was the exception to the rule. Nevertheless, taming this 'frontier of chaos' became a concern for groups like the Christian missionaries from 1814, and for men such as James Busby. More is known of their views and efforts because they took the time to record their experiences, while many other Europeans who were in daily contact with Māori did not. These other Europeans, sometimes known as intermediaries, were important in contact between Māori and Europeans in the period before the Treaty.

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Activities

See suggested activities for this topic (editable Word) - also available for download as pdf

3. The Treaty of Waitangi

The Treaty of Waitangi is New Zealand's founding document. It takes its name from the place in the Bay of Islands where it was first signed by Māori chiefs on 6 February 1840.The Treaty of Waitangi is central to understanding the broad survey of New Zealand in the 19th century. It represented a significant decision that affected the lives of New Zealanders in this period. Its impact on race relations and the evolution of settler government are also major themes in this broad survey.

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Activities

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4. Māori leadership in the 19th century

The 19th century was a period of great change for Māori. Traditional forms of leadership and politics were placed under immense pressure. New leaders and styles of leadership emerged in the face of European colonisation. Attempts to create pan-tribal movements were met with resistance by some iwi as well as by Europeans.

The Kīngitanga, or Maori King movement, is an important and enduring expression of Māori unity. While today it has an established place in New Zealand society, this has not always been the case. The establishment of the Kīngitanga, the appointment of the first king in 1858, and the response to its formation are critical elements in the broad survey of 19th-century New Zealand.

In the Waikato War of the 1860s the government attempted to destroy the Kīngitanga, which it saw as a threat to the authority of the British Crown. In the aftermath of the war, the confiscation of land and operation of the Native Land Court transformed New Zealand from a Māori world into a European one. However, the Kīngitanga showed great resilience in surviving this turmoil, and it emerged from a period of isolation in the closing decade of the 19th century.

The emergence of Pai Mārire in 1862 was another important development in new Māori leadership in response to massive changes in Māori society. This new religion grew out of the conflict over land in Taranaki. It was the first organised expression of an independent Māori Christianity.

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Activities

See suggested activities for this topic (editable Word) - also available for download as pdf

5. The Taranaki War 1860-63

In March 1860 war broke out between Europeans and Māori in Taranaki following a dispute over the sale of land at Waitara. It was the beginning of a series of conflicts that would dog Taranaki for the next 22 years, claiming the lives of several hundred Māori and Europeans and leaving deep scars that persist to the present day.

The fighting in Taranaki can be seen in the wider context of the conflict that occurred in the North Island from the 1840s to the 1870s. From the Bay of Islands in the far north to Wellington in the south (and at many points in between) British and colonial forces fought to open up the North Island for settlement. Several thousand people were killed - the majority of them Māori - during what have become collectively known as the New Zealand Wars. The causes and consequences of these conflicts are an important part of the broad survey of New Zealand in the 19th century.

At the heart of these conflicts lay a volatile combination: contested issues of sovereignty following the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, decreasing willingness to sell land to the government, and increasing pressure for land for settlement as the European population grew rapidly. Taranaki was a perfect illustration of these factors. The confiscation of Māori land which followed the fighting saw race relations in this country enter a new and, in some respects, more damaging phase. A whole new chapter in New Zealand's history was written as Māori responded to the initial seizure of over 1 million acres of Taranaki land following the conclusion of the war.

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Activities

See suggested activities for this topic (editable Word) - also available for download as pdf

6. War in Waikato

After renewed fighting in Taranaki in early 1863, Governor George Grey turned his attention to the region he saw as the root of his problems with Māori: Waikato. This was the heartland of the anti-landselling King Movement or Kīngitanga. Grey vowed to ‘dig around’ the Kīngitanga until it fell.

On 11 July Grey issued an ultimatum to the ‘chiefs of Waikato’ to pledge allegiance to Queen Victoria. The following day – before Waikato Māori had received this message – a force led by Lieutenant-General Duncan Cameron crossed the Mangatāwhiri stream, a tributary of the Waikato River near Mercer. This waterway marked the aukati – a line that should not be crossed– between the European settlement of Auckland and the lands under the mana (protection) of the Māori King. The key conflict of the New Zealand Wars had begun.

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Activities

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How to cite this page

'Revision activities for NCEA history ', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/classroom/treaty-of-waitangi/ncea3-activities, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 11-Dec-2019

Community contributions

1 comment has been posted about Revision activities for NCEA history

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saeshah

Posted: 24 Sep 2012

this page has helped me alot as i am doing level 3 history