Benefits of colonisation

Maori gave up, or lost little compared to what they gained in the 19th century. It is true that some disease, tobacco, alcohol, and sugar came with the 'wicked white coloniser' but it does not mean that people have to smoke, drink liquor, and eat sugary food.

The 'wicked white coloniser' also brought SELF RELIANCE and that did not seem to rub off on many tangata whenua.


* rights to land ownership

* civilisation,

* a written language,

* peace,

* foodstuffs,

* clothing,

* medicine,

* tools and equipment of every description,


* slavery,

* law of the spear,

* enforced marriages,

* mass murders,

* cannibalism,

* daughter slaughter,

* tribal warfare in a regular basis.

Nothing of civilisations creations and achievements were withheld from Maori. Everything - from foodstuffs, clothing, medicine, tools and equipment of every description, education and legal rights were, when it became possible, freely offered.

The fruits of world civilisation was theirs for the asking. All that was required of them was to educate themselves to an appreciation of its true value and utility.

Of course, they were also exposed to the negative aspects of civilisation, but such is the nature of life......

Prior to colonisation Maori were more hunter/gatherers than agriculturists. They were only at the very beginnings of the agricultural stage of development, still practising the slash and burn method.

Only later were they to grow introduced crops with the aid of European farm tools, machinery, draught animals, and techniques. Nothing was withheld from Maori by the European colonists. The endless riches of world civilisation were placed at their disposal by means of the education provided for them. In teaching them to read and write the English language, the colonists effectively gave Maori the world.

In return, all that was asked, or needed, was land. Raw, unimproved land, upon which to set the foundations of a nation. Land which in almost all cases was paid for, (sometimes more than once) at a mutually agreed price.

Occasionally land was confiscated - "the spoils of war", (which is something that Maori most definitely understand). But even in this case its produce contributed in diverse ways to the general commonwealth of the of the fledgling nation.  By means of the kind of foresight, determination, skill, and Herculean labour that few of their present day critics can comprehend, the pioneering settlers eventually made the land productive in an endless diversity of ways for the benefit of ALL New Zealanders.

As in all things human mistakes were made, but it is a mean spirit who judges his fellow man solely by his mistakes......

Read Colin Rawle's full essay here >