National Geographic : 1974 Aug
and cut forests of knotless kauri trees, and British missionaries, enthusiastic to harvest souls, took matters out of the king's hands. The Christian Gospel was first preached in the North Island on Christmas Day 1814. By then white men had seeded themselves along the coasts, introducing trade, disease, rum, prostitution. In 1840 a group of Maori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which granted sovereignty over all New Zealand to Queen Victoria, but guaranteed to the Maoris land they wished to retain. One of the Maori chiefs remarked that "the shadow of the land goes to Queen Victoria, but the substance remains with us." In that same year the New Zealand Company planted the first organized English settlement near Cook Strait. Land-hungry colonists flooded into the is lands, and in 1860 a festering argument over land ownership provoked the Maori wars or, as the Maoris called the conflict, "te riri pakeha-the white man's anger." In ten years of battle with British regulars and New Zea land territorials, the Maoris lost 2,000 killed. After their defeat they lost three million acres of land, confiscated from peaceful and war like tribes alike. The Maori wars left wounds that were a long time healing. Maori culture and lan guage languished; the common cold, measles, and other diseases-brought in by foreigners -devastated the race. The Maoris were largely left out of the noisy adventure of na tion building. Yet everywhere I went in the North Island I met pakehas who were wide awake to past injustices, and determined to help the Maoris enter the mainstream of employment and opportunity. Maori and Pakeha Seek Understanding "We learned by necessity to see into the pakeha mind," said Graham Anderson, secre tary of the New Zealand Maori Council. "Now they seem to want to understand the Maori mind. That's a hopeful thing." I encountered the Venerable G. A. Butt, Archdeacon of Taranaki (where the Maori wars began) and vicar of St. Mary's Anglican Church in New Plymouth, at evensong on a Friday. While Archdeacon Butt read from the Book of Common Prayer, birds sang in St. Mary's nave, and the westering sun bright ened the narrow stained-glass windows. Around the gray stone walls of this peaceful War club and nose rub recall the checkered history of violence and friendship between pakehas, or Europeans, and Maoris. Reenacting the traditional challenge to strangers, a tribesman advances on unruffled Governor-General Sir Denis Blundell at ceremonies marking the anniversary of official British rule in 1840. In a warmer moment, Sir Denis, representative of the British Crown in this independent Com monwealth nation, adopts Maori manners to greet a tribal elder.