New Zealand history was established through Maori History, back in 1987 when Tipene O’Regan specified that “the past belong to New Zealander, but it is ours” he was referring to the foundation of New Zealand history towards Maori History (New Zealand History is Maori History, 2015). In this essay, I will discuss six major events in New Zealand history which is – Women rights to vote, Protest at Bastion Point, Treaty of Waitangi, the arrival of the Maori, Tohunga Suppression Act, and 1981 Springbok tour. I will discuss their background, how it occurred and its significance to New Zealand history.
The progression for women’s rights originated during the late 19th century and transpired for two primary concerns: “equal political rights for women and a determination to use them for the moral reform of society” (NZHistory, Brief history- Women and the vote, 2016). The developments happened when many women confronted the narrow beliefs where women are only efficient in domestic affairs such as household work instead of politics.
New Zealand’s suffragist was motivated by numerous feminists and missionaries such as “Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU)” (NZHistory, Brief history- Women and the vote, 2016). Kate Sheppard started the campaign by organizing requests for Parliament to consent to women’s rights to vote. Although Sheppard had failed in her attempts of the “suffrage bills in Parliament in 1888, 1891 and 1892” (Christchurch City Council, 2017), she remained persistent in the advancement and continued to gain support. Sheppard’s last appeal presented to Parliament had estimated 32,000 signatures. Therefore, the Electoral Act 1893 was established allowing women to vote and was enforced on the 19th September.
This event allowed New Zealand to become the “first self-governing country in the world” (Turnbull- Library, 2012) to permit every woman to vote in parliamentary elections. Hence, has a significant piece of New Zealand’s history since our nation has legislation to safeguard human and women rights. Thus, it’s an argument for equal pay for women.
In 1977, a group of activists captured Bastion Point (Takaparawha) which is located on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour. The New Zealand government declared that new housing development would occur on previously owned Ngati Whatua reserved land. However, Ngati Whatua argued that the land was unreasonably acquired from them as the government’s planned to second the property for private houses.
The development arose in 1978 when the government proposed to reimburse a small portion of “land and houses to Ngati Whatua if the iwi paid $200,000 in development costs” (NZhistory, 2016). However, the protestors remained to fight for their rights and occupied the Orakei land for 506 days until “police and army personnel removed 222 people from Bastion Point” (NZHistory, 2017). Hence, in 1988 the government agreed to Waitangi’s Tribunal’s suggestion as the Ngati Whatua claimed rights on the land (NZhistory, 2016).
The significance of the Bastion Point occupation happened to be New Zealand’s most prominent protest movements in history. Since, it generated several Maori activists across New Zealand to fight for their land, for example, “Raglan protest (1978), the eighty-day occupation of P?kaitore (1995)” (Weebly, n.d.). Therefore, this significant event had renewed Maori identity to uphold their culture.
The competitiveness among Springboks (South Africa) and the All Blacks (New Zealand) remains to be toughest test matches between the two countries. Furthermore, the history of intense rivalry spread into a custom of hospitality regarding the visiting side. In 1981, New Zealand was divided among tour supporters “who said sport and politics shouldn’t mix” (Stewart, 2015). Wherein, some supporters believed the Springbok should be removed “from the sporting world till apartheid ended” (Stewart, 2015).
New Zealand was split for 56 days during the demonstrations which happened to be the biggest civil commotion viewed since the 1951 waterfront disagreement. The violence shown had “150,000 people took part in over 200 demonstrations in 28 centres, and 1500 were charged with offenses” (NZHistory, 2014) for protesting.
The significance of the Springbok tour had some “linking racial discrimination against Maori to apartheid in South Africa” (Meredith, n.d.). Therefore, the demonstrations during the tournaments understood to be New Zealand’s worst violence witnessed. Hence, it has educated New Zealander’s regarding non-violent protests.
The Treaty of Waitangi was signed on the 6th February 1840 and is identified as New Zealand’s founding document (Crocker, 2014) where that contract was written in English and Maori. Both the versions were created among the “British Crown and about 540 Maori rangatira (chiefs)” (NZhistory, 2017). Where, New Zealand honours the Treaty by having a public holiday on the 6th of February to celebrate the signing
The settlement was due to the growing number of British migrates arriving to New Zealand in the late 1830s to protect the Maori, guaranteed full rights of ownership of their lands, forest and other possession and given their rights and privileges of British subject because French interested in annexing New Zealand (Crocker, 2014). Therefore, created many problems toward race relation, thus, the Treaty was mainly to allow the two cultures to come as one under the law or agreement in New Zealand. The Treaty led the British and Maori complete a radical compact to found a nation-state and build a government in New Zealand. Thus, the negotiation settlements towards signing the treaty reveal the pattern of Crown dominance that has ensued since 1860 in nearly all negotiation. (Wheen & Hayward, 2012).
New Zealand was settled by the ancestor of the Maori from central Polynesian at a different time (Hiroa, n.d.) approximately 1300AD (Koea, 2008), discovered by chief Kupe (Hiroa, n.d.). Wilson states through Kupe voyaged of exploration, stars, wind and current ocean were used as their navigator (Wilson, n.d.) Thus, these tribes were called Maori, it wasn’t until the arrival of the European which means “ordinary” (Wilson, n.d.). Their main survival was through hunting, fishing etc. However, Maori lived reasonably well (Wilson, n.d.).
Abel Tasman discovers New Zealand in 1642, then came along the name Nieuw Zeeland due to the land Tasman discover from the west coast- Hokitika up to Cape Maria van Diemen (Wilson, n.d.). Then the arrival of Captain James Cook in 1769 initiated a large-scale migration of European (mainly British) settlers (Te Huia & Liu, 2012). Maori population grow over time according to statistic leading to conflict over limited prime land (reference) and trade and exchanged increase (reference).
Maori cultural activities (kapa haka performance) and symbols acted as a protective factor for both Maori and Pakeha abroad at both the individual and group levels (Te Huia & Liu, 2012). Maori values, for example, Manaakitanga (hospitality) demonstrate an importance placed on interdependence closely resembling the need for relational selves (Te Huia & Liu, 2012). Maori culture forms a distinctive part of New Zealand history thus, a modern culture shaped by the increase of urbanization. However, Maori culture is an integral part of Kiwi life and adds a unique, dynamic experience for visitors (Orme, n.d.). Their history, language and, tradition are central to New Zealand identity (Orme, n.d.)
(Need to cut down and to make it more sense)
Tohunga Suppression Act was New Zealand Parliament Act. The government put this act in place- a law saying these peoples are a witch doctor and not to be treated by them (Malcolm, 1989). Tohunga in Maori culture is an expert practitioner in many skills e.g. healer, priest, art etc. These people are highly respected for their knowledge and skill. European settler belief its unusual and dangerous, thus TSA put in place to prevent people from using traditional healer (Malcolm, 1989).
The development of Tohunga was passed down to generation, some Tohunga is still practiced in Maori communities and many of their traditional ideas about health still retain.
However, the significance of introducing this Act had led to a great lost towards Maori’s identity and who they are.
They perform a necessary ritual to exercise the spirit and that treatment was irrational in the eyes of the European (Malcolm, 1989). Not to mention how they used cold water for fever thus, settler considers dangerous to their patient (Stephens, 2001). Some had view TSA as an attempt to control the Ngai Tuhoe prophet Rua Kenana whom from 1907 built an independent settlement in the Urewera at Maungapohatu (Rhys, 2007). Also view as the Treaty of Waitangi thus, challenged Maori traditional wisdom and considered as the treasure which promised to Maori under the second article of the treaty (Rhys, 2007)
New Zealand history has so many events that attract lots of attention to all tourism.