This essay focuses on the cultural, political, and economic history of New Zealand – Maori settlement and subsistence, British discovery and colonization, and New Zealand’s independence and transformation. I wrote these lectures for Stanford Travel/Study’s New Zealand Air Expedition (December 2005-January 2006).
I begin with the Polynesian Maoris in Aotearoa – their hunting/gathering and agricultural strategies, their political organization and leadership, and the causes and impacts of the Musket Wars. I next discuss British colonization (1800s-1880s) – the early British/Maori interactions, the causes and impacts of the Land Wars, and the British settlement boom after the 1860s. I continue with British recolonization of New Zealand (1890s-1960s) – the export of lamb, butter, cheese, and wool, the impacts of World Wars I and II and the Great Depression, and the doubling of New Zealand’s farm output and postwar growth. I close with political and economic change since the 1960s – why New Zealand reduced its dependence on Britain, how the country diversified its exports, and how it opened its economy to gain international competitiveness. I append a time line, a bibliography, and a description of sites that I visited in New Zealand.
Rotorua, Waitangi and The Bay of Islands, North Island, Wellington, Queenstown and The Fjord Region, South Island, Christchurch, South Island, Dunedin, Akaroa, Napier, Hawke's Bay, Tauranga, Auckland, Russell, Bay of Islands, North Island, Pakeha