The Maori: The History and Legacy of New Zealand’s Indigenous People by Charles River Editors

The Maori: The History and Legacy of New Zealand’s Indigenous People by Charles River Editors

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In 1769, Captain James Cook’s historic expedition in the region would lead to an English claim on Australia, but before he reached Australia, he sailed near New Zealand and spent weeks mapping part of New Zealand’s coast. Thus, he was also one of the first to observe and take note of the indigenous peoples of the two islands. His instructions from the Admiralty were to endeavor at all costs to cultivate friendly relations with tribes and peoples he might encounter, and to regard any native people as the natural and legal possessors of any land they were found to occupy. Cook, of course, was not engaged on an expedition of colonization, so when he encountered for the first time a war party of Maori, he certainly had no intention of challenging their overlordship of Aotearoa, although he certainly was interested in discovering more about them.
It was on October 6, 1769 that land was sighted from the masthead of the HMS Endeavour. The ostensible purpose of the expedition was to observe the transit of Venus across the Sun, but in sealed orders, to be opened only when these astrological observations were complete, he was instructed to search for evidence of the fabled Terra Australis. Approaching from the east, having rounded Cape Horn and calling in at Tahiti, the Endeavour arrived off the coast of New Zealand, and two days later it dropped anchor in what would later be known as Poverty Bay. No sign of life or habitation was seen until on the morning of the 9 October when smoke was observed to be rising inland, indicating that the territory was indeed inhabited. Cook and a group of sailors set off for shore in two boats and leaving four men behind to mind the boats, the remainder set off inland over a line of low hills. The sentries, however, were surprised by the arrival of a group of four Maori, who adopted an aggressive posture, and when one lifted a lance to hurl, he was immediately shot down.


  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 31, 2018)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 56 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1724562355
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1724562357
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 3.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.98 x 0.12 x 9.02 inches