The Trail Of Waitangi

Some words on Colonialism in early New Zealand.

A brief overview

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Webster's Dictionary defines Colonialism as the 'political and social policies by which colonies are governed'.   The name developed about the year 1500AD, from the process of making a colony through the occupation and conquering of a land and its people. Countries with large fleets and more advanced methods of weaponry; the Spanish, French, Portuguese, Dutch, and English were the main countries guilty of it.

At the time Europeans arrived in New Zealand, the accepted process of Colonialism during the settlement of a country included the changing of any existing land arrangements by introducing (so called) 'private' land ownership if it had never existed before, and then the distribution of land to the new settlers.
If goods or commodities were initially used for trading, the introduction of money was promoted and payments in money for taxes or land rent were then imposed.
Slavery was still an acceptable practise, and the extermination of the original inhabitants, or forcing them into 'reserved' areas was not uncommon.

The position in 1840 that Henry Williams, some Maori and others found themselves in, can now be quite easily seen, for in their writings and actions they warned of what was about to happen. As they opposed the untoward and greedy nature of the developing 'Colonial' system, the system, working most vigorously through the New Zealand Land Company, actively and ruthlessly opposed them, even putting the blame for their own doings on to the missionaries.

Colonialism, is not apparent in such a violent or physical sense today, and yet is very much the controlling influence in New Zealand, using the vessels of politics and religion. It did not come just 'out of the blue', but its legacy or nature has been alive for some thousands of years, coming on up through Babylonian and Assyrian times, and on through Romanism and the Roman Empire from its beginings some 2750 years ago.

Some Land War Causes


© G.S. Williams 2001. All Rights Reserved