New Zealand is the youngest country on earth - the last major landmass to be discovered. It has a rich and fascinating history, reflecting both our Maori and European heritage. Amazing Maori historic sites and taonga (treasures), some dating back almost a thousand years, are a contrast to many beautiful colonial buildings. New Zealand today is a culturally diverse and fascinating country.
HOME MOTORHOMES WEBCAMS
GREAT NEW ZEALANDER'S
1. Wiremu Tamihana

Ngati Haua chief Wiremu Tamihana Tarapippi Te Waharoa.

By the late 1850s, having earned renown as a peacemaker among the tribes, Wiremu saw that the rising Pakeha population posed a threat to Maori land and the Maori way of life. To protect them, he took a leading role in forming the King movement. We were alarmed at the rapidity with which the Government were buying up the native lands Tamihana told a missionary in 1861. We feared that unless some means were devised to check this, we should soon be lost among the Pakehas and cease to be a distinct nation. The land league was a result of these thoughts, of which it was ultimately decided that the King should be head. His vision for New Zealand was for a country of Pakeha and Maori at peace with itself but in which Maori remained in control of their own destiny.

But on the Pakeha side, the King movement was interpreted as a threat and an obstacle to establishing British sovereignty over the whole land and to the assimilation of the races. Despite Tamihana’s attempts to mediate, a large British army invaded the Waikato in 1863, driving the King and his followers away. Adding insult to injury, they declared Tamihana and the Waikato tribes to be rebels and confiscated 1.2 million hectares of their territory.

For the rest of his life Tamihana argued eloquently against the injustice. We have done no wrong on account of which we should suffer, and our lands also be taken from us, he wrote in a petition to Parliament in 1865. The only cause that we know is that our parent has been provoking us that is the cause of the trouble that has befallen us.

When Tamihana died three years after the invasion, it must have seemed his vision died with him. Yet he was vindicated when, in the 1990s, the Crown admitted it had breached the Treaty of Waitangi by invading Kingitanga territory and unfairly branding Waikato as rebels. It apologised unreservedly for the loss of lives because of the hostilities arising from its invasion, and the devastation of property and social life which resulted.
TRAVEL TO NEW ZEALAND