Ngai Tahu land rights and the Crown Pastoral Lease Lands in the South Island of New Zealand
Of all the Māori tribes of New Zealand, at the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi from which New Zealand dates its nationhood, the Ngāi Tahu tribe of the South Island held by far the largest tribal territory in the country. At the same time, following the inroads of musket wars and European diseases, Ngāi Tahu were numerically one of the smallest. Twenty years later, after two decades of British rule, Ngāi Tahu from having been the most richly endowed with lands had become the most landless tribe in the country, and soon sank into poverty. Yet they had never rebelled against the Crown, and as Christian converts had always complied with the Crown’s requirements under the Treaty. How did this come about? Was it merely an accident of history? This book examines the colonial system which deprived Ngāi Tahu of their ancestral lands, and holds it up against the guarantees embodied in the Treaty of Waitangi. It is a tale of intrigue and deceit of which New Zealand can hardly be proud, and from which the author calls in question the Crown’s continued proprietorship of some former Ngāi Tahu lands.