New Zealand was the last large and livable place in the world to be discovered. The last full-blooded Moriori is believed to have died in 1933. The first people to come to the islands of New Zealand were the Polynesians, around 1250-1300, and they brought with them, (likely by accident), the Pacific rat. Māori ancestors were the first settlers in New Zealand. Image credit: Holger Kirk/Shutterstock.com. 8. The Maori were developing agriculturally, selling food to the European settlers and exporting food to California. Images and index of the ship passenger lists from Archives New Zealand. The first settlers probably arrived from Polynesia between 1200 and 1300 AD. The writing of Percy Smith and Elsdon Best from the late 19th century theorised about pre-Māori settlement. The ancestors of New Zealand’s indigenous Maori people are said to have arrived from an East Polynesian region known as Hawaiki. Pre-European Māori culture was oral, and based on small autonomous sub-tribes living in valleys, harbours and other localities. These settlers had considerable contact with Māori, especially in coastal areas. Most European New Zealanders are of British and Irish ancestry, with smaller percentages of other European ancestries such as Germans, Greeks, Poles (historically noted as German due to Partitions of Poland), French, Dutch, Scandinavians, Croats and other South Slavs. Maori chiefs met in the Taranaki area in hope of halting further sales of land to settlers. During the 19th century, ideas about Aryan migrations became popular and these were applied to New Zealand. In the late 18th century, there were about 2000 Moriori living on the Chathams. However, disease and attacks from Māori saw the numbers of this peace-loving tribe become severely depleted. Early European settlers. Moriori are believed to have migrated to the Chathams from the South Island of New Zealand. New Zealand also has a unique array of vegetation and animal life, much of which developed … The first people to arrive in New Zealand were ancestors of the Māori. The ambitious settlement plans of the New Zealand Company upped the ante. Here is a look at eight animals introduced to the country by European settlers, and the problems that resulted. By the late 1830s New Zealand had been joined to Europe, and European settlers landed by the score. The survey ship Tory left for New Zealand in May 1839 to purchase land and prepare settlements for the emigrants the company was recruiting. The earliest outbound lists are from minor ports (ports other than Auckland or Wellington) and begin in 1886. But Maori unrest continued. The rise of the King Movement. European New Zealanders are New Zealanders of European descent. Cook successfully circumnavigated and mapped the country, and led two more expeditions to New Zealand before being killed in Hawaii in 1779. Whalers, missionaries, and traders followed, and in 1840 Britain formally annexed the islands and established New Zealand’s first permanent European settlement at Wellington. The company’s plans to buy large quantities of (cheap) land for settlement led to concerns that Māori would be defrauded. Tribal histories are rich with stories of armed conflict, and New Zealand’s many sculpted hills and ridges – the relics of fortifications – are evidence of the importance of warfare in traditional Māori society. After the British assumed formal control of New Zealand in 1840, European settlement and government began to alarm the Maori, especially in North Island. Prior to 1840, it was mainly whalers, sealers, and missionaries who came to New Zealand. Norway Rats The Norway rat. 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