Volume 92 1983 > Volume 92, No. 1 > Tribal and state-like political formations in New Zealand Maori society, 1750-1900, by P. Cleave, p 51-92
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When scholars argue about the possibility of the state in traditional societies there would seem to be two general points of contention which are, firstly, that the state is hindered by the polity of the tribe but, secondly, that the state, even in its least inchoate aspects, is seldom free from tribalism. Any consideration of the traditional Maori polity must begin with the tribe. Such consideration has recently been seen as a difficult project (Arlidge 1980:329) although it could be argued that Maori tribal government as a form of Polynesian political culture has been extensively studied (Sahlins 1958, Goldman 1970, Marcus 1978). In what follows, conceptions of the Maori tribe in both language practice and social institution are evaluated in terms of models devised for Polynesian and other forms of politics such as the early state (Claessen and Skalnik 1978:21). A variegated mosaic of political experience across the traditional tribal areas is described with a view to assessing those tribal models which were most amenable to development into large political units which in aspect, if not in entirety, resemble the early state (Cohen 1969, Kurtz 1978). In answer to the anticipated question “Why State?”, a response might be “Why Kingitanga?” or “Why Ringatu?” Why are there, as outlined below, such consistent and recurrent political shapes that are larger than the tribal group during the 18th and 19th centuries?

With such objectives in mind, what follows has a broad scope and there is, of necessity, a restricted range of example at times. At the most general level, all tribes are considered, but in more specific cases examples are drawn largely from the central North Island. It should be noted carefully that no one tribe is considered to be the paradigm alongside which other tribes may be compared, the central North Island being used by virtue of its geographical centrality within the context of the Maori tribes and the research experience of the present author. It is intended to steer a course between the Scylla of unworkable ideal types - 52 and the Charybdis of isolated details and this requires speculation at times along with neglect of contradictory cases at others. There is also a broad scope involved in terms of the disciplines of social anthropology, history and politics. Again there is, of necessity, a somewhat restricted range of references at least in an explicit sense.


While members of a particular tribal federation based on common descent from an ancestral canoe share traditions among themselves, they often share traditions of conflict and compromise with other groups. These go back, in some cases, to the period before the canoes were said to have left Hawaiki. The classic example of this is the tradition of rivalry between the Tainui and Te Arawa canoes (Grace 1959:49-57, Kelly 1949:34-43). After various skirmishes before leaving, the tohunga, priestly expert of the Tainui canoe Ngatoroirangi, is abducted by the rangatira of the Te Arawa, Tama-te-kapua at Rarotonga. The rivalry continues as the two canoes journey to Aotearoa and then as they travel along the East Coast the two rangatira constantly try to outwit each other as they search for appropriate landing places. Te Arawa lands at Maketu on the East Coast while the Tainui continues up the coast to the Waitemata. From there the canoe is hauled over the isthmus to the Manukau and the journey proceeds to the Kawhia Harbour on the west coast. As the two groups expand from their respective landfalls there is conflict again and again between them and this continues until the 1830s as Te Waharoa and the Ngati Haua fight Te Arawa (Kelly 1949:407-22). The latter did not join the King movement, which was largely based on the more powerful Tainui tribes, and with some exceptions Te Arawa joined the Kupapa or loyalists during the Land Wars.

While canoe federations are usually confined to one district, there are cases which make for surprising genealogical links between groups in widely separated areas. For example, Puhi, a member of the Mata-atua canoe, sailed the vessel from Whakatane to the north of the North Island and there established the Ngapuhi (Best 1925a:726-28). The Takitimu canoe journeyed south after making landfall on the lower East Coast of the North Island and the Takitimu Ranges in the South Island are named after the locality where the canoe is said to have made final landfall (Te Rangi Hiroa 1950:59). Another example of this would be Torere in the Bay of Plenty which has Tainui affiliations on the basis that Hoturoa's daughter of that name swam ashore there (Kelly 1949:50).

With these exceptions in mind, it is possible to argue that, in terms of the way tribes identify themselves with their geographical locations, there - 53 are two fundamental considerations. There is the waka of which it is said in the Tainui region:

E koro e ngaro—he takere waka nui
We will never be lost, we are the hull of a great canoe

There is also a four-fold classification involving the most symbolic mountain and river along with the tribe, itself, and its rangatira. For example, within the Tainui area and especially in the Waikato, the saying concerned with the canoe above is heard in the same context as the following:

Ko Taupiri te maunga Taupiri is the mountain
Ko Waikato te awa Waikato is the river
Ko Ngati Mahuta te iwi Ngati Mahuta is the people, and
Ko Potatau te tangata Potatau is the man

These identifications afford dynamic and static metaphors. The mountain and the river are fixed reference points. The waka is the vehicle in which the tribe travels through time, a valued metaphysical association of human beings:

He waka rakau e kitea
He waka tangata me kimi ki whea?
A wooden canoe can be repaired
but where is a canoe of men to be found?

More than this, the waka is one of the metaphysical bases for choice and constraint in traditional Maori society. In fact, the notions of static and dynamic may be compared with Carneiro's (1970) distinction between “environmental circumscription” which in this case involves the mountain and the river and “social circumscription” which, of course, involves concepts such as leadership, tribe and canoe federation, the last being something of a linking concept.

Iwi, ‘tribe’—also the word for bones—is another concept that links others. Iwi refers to a set of interlocking kin groups with a common whakapapa, or genealogy, and a common leadership, rangatiratanga. A social history and a sense of direction provided by whakapapa and rangatiratanga respectively give the tribe two of its most fundamental dimensions. The mana, or, loosely, prestige, of the tribe is constituted in these dimensions, the rangatira embodying the prestigious and spiritual power of his ancestors.

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The iwi is composed of hapu, or subtribes, which are in turn constituted of whanau, or extended families. Again the literal meaning of these terms is very important, hapu meaning pregnant and whanau to give birth. The discussion has proceeded from the larger social groupings to the smaller and it should be emphasised that, above all, the whanau is the most fundamentally important of all social units so far examined. Whanaungatanga, or cousinhood, is a concept which is often used to show links between members of a tribe or even between members of different tribes (Rangihau 1975:221-32).

Ultimately all concepts of social action, for example, peace or war, trace back to the primal whanau of Rangi the father and Papa the mother, the sky and the earth respectively. Rangi and Papa are initially locked together in a loving embrace, their progeny living in darkness between them. It is Tu matauenga, the God of war, who, in concert with some of his brothers, hacks them asunder in order to let light into the world. Tu matauenga is perhaps best conceived as symbolising the spirit of aggression. The marae, the courtyard used for speechmaking in front of a meeting house, is known as the domain of Tu, for it is here that men release their feelings of aggression towards their fellows. By contrast, the meeting house is much more the domain of Rongo, God of peace.

The rangatira who makes a speech firstly on the marae in daylight and then speaks again at night in the meeting house, is making two very different kinds of speeches. He has to speak well on both occasions, for speaking is the very food of chiefs. Damage inflicted by the tongue is irreparable whether it be done in the cut and thrust of speechmaking on the marae or in the more peaceful atmosphere of the whare nui, meeting house.

Ko te kai a te rangatira he korero
The food of leaders is oratory
He tao rakau e taea te karo
He tao ki e kore e taea
A shaft of wood may be
A shaft of the tongue may not

The rangatira has to steer a course through notions of tapu and noa, the sacred and profane in the domains of both Tu and Rongo and all the while his primary concern is whanaungatanga, the way in which his people are related, their representations of their ancestors and their sense of direction which is given by him. Later in this paper the proposition will be considered that rangatiratanga is a conceptual “trigger” for - 55 social change. That is to say that chieftainship has a key role in “state-like formations” (Tomonovskaia 1973), especially in the maintenance and development of ritual forms of social interaction such as te Kawa-o-te-marae as these ritual forms come to symbolise relations of power and administration between tribes.

There are, then, two fundamental principles which underlie the kernel of Maori political and social life, whanaungatanga and rangatiratanga, the nature of the extended family and its direction. These principles operate in each of the various social groupings, in the whanau itself as well as in the hapu, the iwi and in the canoe federation. In fact, these are very much two sides of the same coin. For example, in the relationship between younger and older brothers, family matters have a direct bearing upon leadership possibilities. The teina or younger brother may not speak on the marae while his older brother or tuakana is alive unless a special arrangement has been made whereby the older brother forfeits his rights to speak. As with many principles of kinship, here is a reverse or contradictory principle involved. This is that of the potiki, or youngest son, who is indulged to some extent and sometimes given special privileges. Maui, the mischievous but creative culture-hero, is the classic example of this. He is given special access to matters of power and knowledge such as his grandmother's jawbone which he uses, among other things, to slow down the passage of the sun across the sky.

The tuakana-teina relationship is also important in considerations of rangatiratanga and whanaungatanga over time. Rights to land and to chieftainship itself are usually determined with tuakana lines of descent in mind as whakapapa, or genealogy, is recalled. Descent itself is not as clear cut in the Maori case as it is in other traditional societies, female lines as well as male being involved. Tuakana and teina are as important for women as they are for men, particularly in ritual functions such as singing the appropriate waiata, or traditional song, at the end of a man's speech.

The relations between Maori communities are affected by the tuakana-teina distinction largely as a matter of intermarriage (Biggs 1960, Makereti 1938) and especially where a man and a woman from tuakana lines of descent and from different tribes come together. Such an inter-connection, and the memories of the whanau that ensue, become important reference points in considerations or alliances for peace and war. Also, a new set of responsibilities is incurred. If a woman does not live up to expectations as a wife, her house could be ritually plundered in an act of muru. Similarly, if the husband ill-treats his wife, then her people will take some form of revenge, utu. Muru, or plunder, is best conceived as the application of a sense of utu. The latter is of vital impor- - 56 tance in relations between different iwi, hapu and whanau, a set of complex and long-standing grievances usually existing to be touched off by a serious slight of tribal character or allayed by intermarriage.

The tuakana-teina distinction is perhaps best understood not simply as a matter of rank but also as a question of mana or prestige. It is a concept to be tested in terms of any given individual whakapapa, his position as a speech-maker and his capacity as a decision-maker. A rangatira must fight the claims of others to seniority as well as assert his own. This is true also of other principles of seniority. For example, there is what would best be described as an ascribed distinction between chief, rangatira, and commoner, tutua. But few people would admit to being of a tutua category. Everyone can trace his descent back to a rangatira of note and, within specific social contexts, it is up to the individual to prove his rangatiratanga. His mana will be shown in the way he lives up to his whakapapa as a whole and the parts he chooses to emphasise.

The specific social contexts referred to above may be best examined as parts of the life cycle. For example, in traditional times, the way in which a teenage male would test his strength, kaha, was in mock battles, para whakawai (Best 1925b:24). These were preliminaries to the serious combat entered into by a young man as he fought for his tribe as a member of a war party, taua. As a senior member of the community he would be called upon in later life to engage in whaikorero on the marae on a wide variety of occasions, ranging from the tangi, funeral, to intertribal meetings. Over a lifetime a man would face tests of his character in a number of ways. Rangatiratanga does not depend upon kaha, or strength, alone. A man's sense of spirituality, mauri, his capacity to put others in awe of him, wehi, and his ability to humble himself if need be, whakaiti, are all involved. Individuals, like tribes, have specific characters which are important in any socio-political development.

There is a complementarity in traditional Maori life between action and reflection involving the roles of the rangatira and the tohunga respectively. This is found at the deepest levels of tradition and myth, being noted above in the canoe traditions for example. The tohunga used his knowledge of the natural and supernatural to suggest an appropriate course of action for the tribe. The rangatira made decisions on the basis of such advice. In the prophetic movements of the last part of the 19th century, these roles tended to be fused, Te Kooti, for example, being both a religious and a social leader at the same time. The same process surely must have occurred out of necessity in the earliest times. Who, but Hoturoa, the rangatira of the Tainui canoe, could have taken over some, at least, of the tohunga's functions once Ngatoroitangi, the tohunga, had left the canoe?

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The historian Robert S. Arlidge has recently put the case for a multi-centric notion of Maori local government (1980:329). He does this by using Bohannan's four-part model, which is reproduced below:

  Unicentric Power Bicentric (or Multicentric) Power
One culture Municipal systems of “Law” Law in stateless societies
Two (or more) cultures Colonial Law International Law
The legal realm (from Bohannan 1965)

The difficulty in accepting such a thesis—as opposed to accepting the model which is a fair representation and contrast of ideal types—is that in a conceptual coup de'oeil observers of 19th century New Zealand are asked to accept such rapid transitions from multicentric to unicentric forms of power relations as the King movement, the Ringatu movement and Pai Marire. In what follows below the period from the early 18th century onwards is reviewed in an attempt to explain such transitions using the concepts of whanaungatanga and rangatiratanga, inter alia, to develop a model for social change that embraces tribal and pan tribal phenomena.

It is important that the discussion does not move too quickly to a general appreciation of Maori society, a society which was barely conceived as such by Maoris in the 19th century, without a thorough examination of the relations between Pakeha government on the one hand and specific tribal groups on the other. To consider the Waikato-Maniapoto (Jones 1960, 1968, Kelly 1949, Wilson 1907, Rickard 1963, Gorst 1959) group of tribes, for example, there is a series of events and responses to those events which make for a distinctive history. As noted earlier, there were major tensions within this tribal complex before contact. At Hingakaka in the late 18th century, a battle was fought which tested and proved the strength of the Waikato tribes led by Ngati Mahuta. The Ngati Mahuta, based at Taupiri mountain, were led by a succession of very able leaders particularly from the time of Te Rauangaanga in the late 18th century. As with most tribes in the district, Ngati Mahuta trace their ancestory to Hoturoa, the leader who sailed the Tainui canoe from the ancestral homeland of Hawaiki to New Zealand. - 58 Each subtribe in the Waikato-Maniapoto area has its own particular way of understanding the lines of descent from Hoturoa, and the battles at Hingakaka and later at Kawhia can be seen as tests of that understanding. The battle of Kawhia was decisive in that after a long period of skirmishing and battles, usually involving the claims of Te Rauparaha and the Ngati Toa, a tribe based on the southern shores of Kawhia Harbour, this group were driven away from the district altogether by a concerted effort of most of the other Waikato and Maniapoto tribes led by Te Whero Whero, of the Ngati Mahuta (Kelly 1949:300-15, Travers 1906:80-104).

The arrival of the European in New Zealand had little effect on Waikato-Maniapoto until the late 1840s. The Treaty of Waitangi was avoided by Te Whero Whero and other leaders almost as a matter beyond serious consideration. Government agents did collect signatures to the English version of the treaty at Kawhia in 1840 but there were no chiefs of any standing among those who signed. Missionary influence was also peripheral in the early years Maunsell (Wily and Maunsell 1938:35-109) became established on the west coast for a time and Brown (Purchas 1914:43,53,56,65,114) made forays from Tauranga on the east coast into the Ngati Haua district in the upper reaches of the Hauraki Plains. These expeditions were important for Wiremu Tarapipipi Tamihana, son of Te Waharoa (leader of the Ngati Haua and a very powerful war chief), became converted to Christianity and came to direct the setting up of the King movement (Gorst 1864:156-82). In fact, the leaders of the Ngati Haua became known as the Kingmakers after Tamihana. Interestingly, other proponents of a Maori king came from the Ngati Toa, who had been driven to Kapiti in the south. Te Rauparaha's son, Wiremu Te Rauparaha, and Matene Te Whiwhi (Kelly 1949:430-32), a kinsman, went to England in 1852 and returned with ideas of a Maori monarchy. They had also been exposed to missionaries and in their case Hadfield, or Harawira as he was known, had been based at Otaki in the south-west and had influenced the Ngati Toa to some considerable extent.

Te Wherowhero became King Potatau in a ceremony at Ngaruawahia in 1858 (Kelly 1949:440). There had been large meetings in such places as the southern shores of Lake Taupo in 1856 (Grace 1959:442-57). The installation of the King came at a time when the Ngati Mahuta were undisputed as the most powerful force in the Waikato-Maniapoto district, and the syncretism of their genealogies, whakapapa, and the notion of a regal aristocracy were easily achieved. In the same way, a religious and political distinctiveness, or mana motuhake, was claimed by the movement.

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Pakeha government was suspicious at all levels. The Provincial Council of Auckland was apprehensive at the prospect of the warlike Rewi Maniapoto and its fears were not allayed by the arguments of Wiremu Tamihana (Cleave 1976). The General Assembly was concerned even though its attention was predominantly directed towards the conflict that was unfolding in Taranaki. The Governor, Gore Browne, proved himself incapable of either accommodation with or suppression of the King movement. The complexities of Pakeha government at this time did little to help the agents Gorst and Fenton, who established themselves in the Waikato in the late 1850s (Gorst 1864:98-129, 356-389) and early 1860s. Gorst eventually became involved in a propaganda war by editing a pro-Government newspaper, Te Pihoihoi Mokemoke i runga i te Tuani, ‘The Lonely Sparrow on the Rooftop,’ in response to the Kingite newspaper, Te Hokioi, which refers to a great awesome bird of ancient times. 1

War broke out in the Waikato after Rewi Maniapoto sacked Gorst's press and the Auckland Pakeha community imagined that Rewi was about to attack them. With the example of the besieged settlers in Taranaki before them, the General Executive lost no time in approving Governor Grey's declaration of war. Troops set out from Auckland along the military road which had been laid as far as the Bombay hills on the edge of Waikato territory and which had been itself regarded as proof of Pakeha intentions by Rewi and others (Cowan 1922:341-55). After set battles at Rangiriri and elsewhere, the war in the Waikato came to a climax with the battles of Gate Pa and Orakau (ibid 402). Before leaving the besieged pa at Orakau, Rewi, who had been helped by contingents of Tuhoe fighters, uttered a proclamation of defiance which has become a rallying slogan in Maori ethnicity:

Ka whawhai tonu matou ake ake ake
We shall fight on for ever and ever and ever

The immediate outcome of the war was a virtual transformation of land use and community patterns in the Waikato. Most of the land in the Waikato was confiscated and military settlements were set up in the south of the area at Hamilton and Te Awamutu (Vennell 1939). A border known as the aukati line came to be established below Te Awamutu. This, in fact, was an ancient dividing line between the Waikato and Maniapoto districts and the latter now became known as the King Country for it was here that King Tawhiao, who had succeeded his father, Potatau, settled with his followers until the early 1880s. During this period in exile the religious features of the Kingitanga were clarified and - 60 modified as more pacifist elements were included, the Pai Marire faith of the Taranaki area being adopted (King 1977:27). This meant a more passive kind of resistance to the Pakeha, and Tawhiao declared that he and his people would not take up arms again when he came out of the King Country in 1881. For some time before this, McLean and other Ministers of Native Affairs had been trying to make a compromise with Tawhiao in order to facilitate the settlement of the King Country by Pakehas (Anderson and Petersen 1956:224, 227). This occurred in the 1880s as Tawhiao and his followers returned to the Waikato to begin again where they had originally started, at the sacred mountain of Taupiri and the place that Tawhiao regarded as the footstool, turangawaewae of the movement, Ngaruawahia.

The attitude taken by the King movement towards the Pakehas from 1880 until 1900 tended to be one of withdrawal and non-participation. Mahuta, who succeeded Tawhiao, took a seat in the Upper House in the late 1890s but this is best regarded as a strategic move and not as a full acquiescence in Pakeha government (Jones 1968:143). At the same time, protest was maintained on a regal level, Tawhiao going to England in the 1880s and requesting an interview with the Queen. Petitions were also made to the Queen but none of these requests met with the desired responses.

The ethnohistory of the King movement from the early 18th century would appear consistently to tend towards unicentric forms of power conceptualised as waka or canoe federations—Tainui in this case—and rangatiratanga which comes to the ascendency of the subtribe within the canoe federation—the Ngati Mahuta. In explaining why this should be so, the often-cited causes of population growth or depletion of food or other resources do not seem to be operative. There has recently appeared, in fact, some literature which would support the notion of sociopolitical change occurring before population growth within Polynesia (Catton 1981). In this case, Maori society is reacting consistently to a variety of external stimuli such as other tribes, then Europeans and then tribes friendly to the European from a steady socio-political base which comes to be known as Kingitanga and is understood in terms of rangatiratanga and whanaungatanga.

In the century before contact relations between some tribes had become more intense with friction in two main areas, the Urewera, as the Tuhoe people extended their borders, and in the Waikato-Maniapoto area, where the dissident Te Rauparaha came into conflict with Te Wherowhero, who was later to become the first Maori king, Potatau. The Waikato-Maniapoto conflicts had several important consequences. The first was an increase in unity among the tribes that remained in the

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  Personalities Political Developments Events Political Developments Personalities
1750-1800     Hingakaka Intratribal conflict Te Rauangaanga
1800-1820     Battle of Kawhia Ngati Toa/Ngati Mahuta Te Rauparaha Te Wherowhero
1820-1840     Flight of Kapiti Ascendancy of Ngati Mahuta Avoidance of Treaty of Waitangi  
1840-1850 Missionaries in Bay of Plenty, Kawhia     Further consolidation of Ngati Mahuta as key subtribe  
1850-1860 Gorst/Fenton —Tension between Declaration of war Setting up of King movement Tamihana
  Gore Browne Government and      
    Parliament over Native Affairs Orakau —Physical resistance Potatau
    —Mobilisation of troops into Waikato   —Syncretism of most powerful genealogies with regality Tawhiao
1860-1870 Grey —Military settlements in Waikato   —Mana Motuhake religious and political distinctiveness Withdrawal into King Country  
1870-1880 McLean Bryce     —Regal protest and more passive kinds of resistance  
        —Form of Pai Marire adopted  
1880-1890   Settlement in King Country Laying down of arms at Te Awamutu Return to Waikato  
1890-1900     Mahuta takes seat in Upper House Strategic but mild acquiescence in Government Mahuta
Personalities and politics
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area. Secondly, there was a migration of dissident tribes to Kapiti Island in the south where they became a powerful dynasty under Te Rauparaha (Travers 1872:105-28). The tribes of the west coast were weakened severely by the effects of the migration through their area and by the ascendency of Te Rauparaha to their south. Te Ati-Awa in Taranaki, for example, were driven from their lands (Sinclair 1957:115-16). This precontact period is most important because armed resistance to the settler Government and to the Governor came principally from these three areas, Waikato-Maniapoto, Tuhoe and Taranaki.

There are, in effect, three distinct patterns of tribal development from the mid-18th century until the end of the 19th. The first is that discussed above involving rapid growth and conflict in the century before contact and armed resistance to Pakeha government later. The second pattern is that of an assertion of tribal authority and prestige immediately after contact which is accompanied by armed resistance to Pakeha government at an early stage with an eventual neutrality in the period of the Land Wars. The third is that of a relative consistency and stability in the precontact period often involving self-defence against those tribes whose power was rapidly growing, this being followed with neutral or “loyalist” positions vis-à-vis the Pakeha Government in the contact period. An example of the first pattern has been given above with the discussion of Waikato-Maniapoto. Other examples of this and other patterns are given below with a view to providing a basic understanding of the relations between tribes, between tribes and the Pakeha Government and the development of pan-tribal relations in Te Ao Hou, the New World introduced by the coming of the Pakeha.

The Tuhoe in the Urewera and Te Ati Awa in Taranaki are examples of the first pattern of tribal developments outlined above and yet they are distinct from Waikato-Maniapoto in different ways. The Tuhoe were more isolated than most tribes but were distinctive from those tribes that were similarly isolated, such as Tuwharetoa, in that they had undergone a period of conquest and expansion from the mid-17th century, moving out from the mountain fastnesses of the Urewera towards Te Whaiti in the west, Ruatoki in the north and Waikaremoana in the west (Best 1925a:210-518). The Tuhoe experience of the Pakeha formed an extreme contrast with that of Ngapuhi. The latter had been exposed at an early stage to the sealers and whalers and then to the missionaries followed by settlers and Pakeha government under Hobson. The Tuhoe, even by 1860, had had little contact with traders, the Church or Government.

In 1868 Te Kooti 2, who was connected with the Rongo-whakata and the East Coast tribes round Gisborne, or at Turanga as it was then known, escaped from the military prison on the Chatham Islands, com- - 63 mandeered a small ship and led a group of followers, firstly to Poverty Bay, and then into the Ureweras. Having been imprisoned wrongfully without trial or appeal, Te Kooti had been among Hau Hau supporters who had been taken to the Chathams following the second Taranaki campaign and their traverse of the island from Taranaki to Opotiki and from there towards Turanga along the east coast where their route had been thwarted by Ropata and others of the Ngati Poro and East Coast tribes. During this period Te Kooti developed a religious attitude which differed from the faith inspired by Te Ua, the Hau Hau prophet. Te Kooti took his faith to the Tuhoe where the creed of the Ringatu or upraised hand grew in strength under his leadership.

A great deal of speculation has occurred with regard to the notion of “the upraised hand.” Some writers (Greenwood 1942) tended to treat it as a matter of magical efficacy devised by Te Turuki. In fact, there are several comprehensive explanations of the importance of this notion in traditional and biblical terms. For example, in speech-making and in Maori lore generally, beginning as it does with Maui being hit by a stone on the left side, handedness is very important, the right hand being the weapon hand, the hand to be shown at all times as one is speaking. In Te Whakakitenga, Revelations Book I, Chapters 16, 17 and 20, the right hand is said to contain the seven stars which represent the seven churches and is used by Jesus to resuscitate St. John. These passages were highly important and it is said that Te Turuki, as Te Kooti became known, used the letters W I on his flag to represent Whakakitenga. Te Turuki had been influenced by this text from his earliest religious inspirations and this is shown in his original vision on the Chathams which was recorded in detail. That it was recorded is not surprising as the text entreats the faithful to read, so that prophecy when heard may be kept (Revelations I:3, 11, 19). The full text of Te Whakakitenga is later discussed in a more general fashion.

Tuhoe had been involved in resistance against the Pakeha before Te Turuki came among them. In 1864 they had aided Rewi Maniapoto at Orakau and they had given sanctuary to various Hau Hau as they were being driven back from the East Coast. Kereopa, the main figure in the uprising at Opotiki, was eventually caught at Ohaua deep in the forest between Ruatoki and Ruatahuna. Te Turuki gave the Tuhoe a sense of codified purpose vis-à-vis the Pakeha and they supported him through the most destructive phases of the Land Wars which occurred in the Urewera when Pakeha and loyalist Maori troops pursued a “scorched earth” policy of burning villages and destroying crops in their pursuit of Te Turuki (Andersen and Petersen 1956). Later Te Turuki named the great meeting house at Mata-atua pa, near Ruatahuna, Te Whai-a-te- - 64 Motu, or the hunted of the land, in commemoration of this. Where the war in the Waikato and to some extent in Taranaki was a matter largely of set-piece battles based on the occupation or surrender of a fortified pa, the war in the Urewera was much more a guerilla campaign, although some pa warfare did occur as at Ngatapa in January of 1869 when Ropata, the Ngati Porou chief, defeated Te Turuki's forces (Cowan 1940:94).

The response of Pakeha officialdom to the Tuhoe was, in the first instance, somewhat confused. Some Tuhoe had fought under Rewi's banner in the Waikato and some Hau Haus had been harboured by some Tuhoe. Land at Ruatoki was confiscated in 1865 on the rather contrived basis that the Tuhoe as a tribe had been a party to the uprising led by Kereopa in the Bay of Plenty (Best 1925a:310, 344, 595, 665). Te Turuki was never caught so there was no judgment passed on Tuhoe for supporting him. By the last quarter of the 19th century more enlightened policies were very gradually employed by the Pakeha Government towards Maori and, prompted by Carroll, the Liberal Party instigated a new form of land administration which gave much more credence to tribal claims (Williams 1969:80-129). The Urewera tribes had had relatively few land dealings with the Government due partly to the fact that their rugged and isolated lands were not desired by Pakehas and were considered as a test case for these new forms of legislation. The Urewera Lands Act became law in 1896. There is an irony here which is that this new legislative thinking had been prompted by the emergence of the Te Kotahitanga (Williams 1969:48-9), or Maori parliament, which was composed of tribes formerly adversaries of the Tuhoe both in traditional times and during the Urewera campaigns. (The Kotahitanga is discussed more fully below).

The third example of the first pattern of tribal development and response is that of Taranaki, which forms, as it were, a negative case of the pattern. Where the Waikato-Maniapoto and Tuhoe tribal groups are concerned it is they who are growing and displacing other tribes. Te Ati Awa of Taranaki represent the other side of this process and their experience is similar to that of the Ngati Whatua, of Auckland, in many respects, in that these are both small tribes which were caught in the pincers, as it were, of larger tribal groups. Scholarship on Te Ati Awa is remarkable in that, while there is considerable work on the dispute between the tribe and the Government at Waitara in the 1850s (Cowan 1940:69-74, Sinclair 1961a) there have not been in-depth studies of traditional tribal history. One is left to draw on a variety of sources which pertain, at different times, to the area (Houston 1965). Te Ati Awa were caught between Te Wherowhero and Te Rauparaha between 1810 and - 65 1825 while Ngati Whatua—and before them the Wai-o-Hua—situated on the Auckland isthmus were increasingly caught between the Ngapuhi to the north and Waikato to the south in the period from 1700 until 1840 (Kelly 1949:253-9). Where the Ngati Whatua were able to come to terms with the Governor, terms which in the short view seemed favourable since the Governor established his capital in Auckland in 1841 offering protection to the Ngati Whatua from those north and south, the Taranaki tribes—particularly Te Ati Awa—were not so fortunate. Having been forced to leave their tribal area by warfare between Ngati Toa and the Waikato tribes, as the latter chased the former towards Kapiti Island in the south, Te Ati Awa were beginning to return to their land in the late 1840s and early 1850s only to find that it was being occupied by Pakehas based at New Plymouth. Furthermore, because the rank system within the tribe had been so severely disrupted in the 1820s, disputes over land ownership were vexed and confused.

The particular conflict over land which was to act as the catalyst for the Land Wars took place over the Waitara block (Sinclair 1958:110-224). This area was required by the settlers at New Plymouth because it was of great value for the development of a port and was, in itself, potentially good farming country. Parris, the Land Sales Commissioner through whom transactions over land in the area had to be made under the pre-emptive clause in the Treaty of Waitangi, had come to an arrangement with a man called Te Teira. A chief called Wiremu Kingi disputed Te Teira's claim and after inquiries on the part of the Government, title was seen to be Te Teira's and a survey commenced. The survey was obstructed by Kingi's men and the first Taranaki campaign was underway as troops tried to force the survey.

This was a campaign fought largely in terms of set pa warfare although there was more pillage, random destruction and killing by both sides than in the Waikato. The second Taranaki campaign, by contrast, was much more a guerilla affair. Te Ua, the porewarewa or mystic, inspired the resistance with a form of religion known as Pai Marire. His followers were deeply involved in ecstatic expression of religious sentiment at one level and in striking political imagery on the other. Unfortunately, both of these aspects were exaggerated in Pakeha reports of the day and either vilified or earnestly defended by academic commentators since then. In one way or another, rather too much has been made of the marching and dancing around a pole known as a niu and the phenomenon of glossolalia, on the one hand, and the carrying of Captain Lloyd's head about the North Island or the ritual desecration of Volkner's body at Opotiki by Kereopa, on the other. 3

Similarly, it is easy to make too much of the Pakeha response to Pai - 66 Marire which made members of the Hau Hau movement seem crazed fanatics of whom Atkinson, a prominent leader in New Plymouth, said: “I find one lies in wait to shoot Maoris without any approach to an angry feeling—it is a sort of scientific duty (Atkinson Journal, 5 June 1863, Scholefield Richmond-Atkinson Papers II, p.49).

The political thought of both communities is a manifestation of extremes within the whole context of communities in New Zealand. The Hau Hau may have acted in the name of their ecstatic religion, the settlers in the cloak of scientific rationality, but in each case there was a specific and extreme frustration. While no other tribe had experienced such oppression, either by Pakeha or other tribes of Maori, as the Te Ati Awa by 1859, no other Pakeha community had been so thwarted in its ambitions as the settler society at New Plymouth. A community planned along New Zealand Company lines, the New Plymouth settler society never gained the autonomy of Nelson, its closest equivalent (Morrell 1932:11-48). Besides this, there was not the high proportion of educated men there was in Nelson, who may have tempered the raw fires of discontent. Most frustrating of all for settlers was that they were prevented from expanding their settlements both by local Maori, the Governor and the Native Affairs Department. New Plymouth was, provincially speaking, marginal, lying on the border of North and South as these were defined in the 1846 and 1854 constitutional legislation.

There would seem to be a strong argument for a relative deprivation model in Taranaki for both Maori and Pakeha societies. Pakeha society was much more of a planned community than the settlement at Auckland, being based on a chartered company. However, in social and cultural terms, Auckland society had been much better equipped to express community interests. Taranaki never escaped domination by Wellington at a provincial level. Economically the community was disadvantaged by comparison with every other province, not only in terms of land, but even with regard to port facilities, land necessary for port development being that at Waitara whose occupation became so symbolically important for the settlers.

Given these extremes, it is perhaps not surprising that the most desperate episodes of both resistance and suppression occurred in Taranaki. This was true not only of the early 1860s, when Pakeha took such views as that of Atkinson (above) and the Pai Marire movement went into battle believing in the efficacy of chants to ward off bullets. It was true also of the battles between Titokowaru's forces and the Forest Rangers (Cowan 1923:171-213) in the late 1860s. It was seen yet again in the sacking of Te Whiti's pacifist community at Parihaka by Bryce in 1881. These extreme modes of behaviour are analysed conceptually below. - 67 Here it is proposed simply to list the course of events and to briefly describe the communities involved. It must be emphasised, however, that events in Taranaki will be fully understood only once the range of political interests and the ways in which such interests are conceived is examined on a nationwide basis.

To illustrate this point it may be profitable to return to the comparison between Te Ati Awa and Ngati Whatua. As noted above, both were small tribes who were located in the way of larger tribal groups in strategic terms in the precontact period. Both tribes were offered short-term protection by Pakeha government. Kingi and others of Te Ati Awa were able to return to Taranaki without fear of molestation by other tribes while the chiefs of Ngati Whatua made detailed arrangements with Hobson, on a similar basis, for the settlement of Auckland (Reed 1955:13-50). The most revealing difference, however, is that, whereas race relations over land became intensified very quickly in Taranaki, the Ngati Whatua of Auckland were to defend their own Waitara at Bastion Point in 1977, 136 years after the establishment of Auckland. Auckland was, of course, the seat of central government in the early years while New Plymouth was, as it were, on the periphery. Furthermore, the Ngati Whatua were encircled by Pakeha settlement while Te Ati Awa stood, in effect, between the King movement and the settlers at New Plymouth. However, the same issues were at stake in a disputed title to symbolically important land, a mixture of local and national government interests and an eventual last-ditch protest.

In fact, at the most general level all tribes appear to have followed a pattern of an initial agreement with Pakeha government, however hesitant or tenuous, followed by some expression of dissatisfaction. At a more particular level, the second and third patterns of tribal development set out above show this just as effectively as the examples so far discussed. To turn to the second pattern, which is where there was an assertion of tribal authority and prestige immediately after contact but a neutral position taken during the Land Wars, this is possibly best seen in the case of the northern tribes and especially the Ngapuhi. 4 The Ngapuhi had been consolidating their position in the north in the century before contact and subsequently used the new technology of the musket to wage war against virtually every other major tribal group in the North Island in the 1820s. Hongi Hika, a leading chief of Ngapuhi, had obtained the muskets through the mission supervisor Kendall, while both of them were in Sydney on the last leg of a tour that had taken them to England. The “Musket Wars”, as they are known, should perhaps be best understood as wars of prestige—or wars of retribution, utu, however real or imaginary the cause—in that Hongi Hika and his men attacked key - 68 positions throughout the North Island. These included Ohinemutu in the centre of Te Arawa territory, Kawakawa, one of the main fighting pa of the Ngati Porou, and Matakitaki deep in Waikato country. After much pillage and with many killed due to the formidable power of muskets in relation to traditional Maori weapons, the Ngapuhi retired gradually in the later 1820s after the death of Hongi Hika.

The chiefs who signed the Treaty of Waitangi were drawn largely from the Ngapuhi area and it is probable that the difficulties experienced by Government agents in procuring the signatures of chiefs from other tribes were part of a legacy of the resentments left by the Musket Wars. In fact, for the half-century after 1830 there was very little formal cooperation between the northern and other tribal groups. The northerners refused to join the King movement on the one hand and yet they did not, at least in any great number, join the Kupapa or loyalist group, which was composed largely of Te Arawa, Ngati Porou and Wanganui tribes. And yet from 1880 the Ngapuhi took the initiative in organising meetings to discuss the Treaty of Waitangi which became annual events held at different places in the North Island although generally in the territories of formerly loyalist or neutral tribes. By the 1890s these meetings had taken the form of a Maori Parliament organised as part of a movement known as Te Kotahitanga ‘the unity’ (Williams 1969, Ward 1973:281-307). The pattern of response of various tribes is shown diagrammatically in Figure 3.

That the Te Kotahitanga movement was taken up by Te Arawa and Ngati Porou, as well as the Wanganui tribes, illustrates the general pattern of initial agreement and subsequent dissatisfaction with Pakeha government in the most extreme way since these tribes were loyalists or Kupapa in the Land Wars. The term “loyalist” is, in fact, misleading. A complex set of reasons was involved in the decisions made by these tribes to fight for the Government. These emerged from the precontact period and the initial postcontact period in many cases. In the case of Te Arawa (Kelly 1949:407-22, Wilson 1907) there were traditional antagonisms towards the Waikato tribes in the north and the Matatua tribes, particularly the Tuhoe, in the south. Indeed, the last great intertribal battles, between 1830 and 1835, involved the Ngati Haua, of the lower Hauraki Plains, led by Wiremu Tamihana's father, Te Waharoa, and the Te Arawa tribes. Some of the battles raged around the home of Tapsell, the Pakeha trader at Maketu who was closely affiliated to the Arawa. With such a legacy of hostilities occurring so recently in their history, it is not surprising that Te Arawa refused to support the King movement presented as it was by Wiremu Tamihana. With a long-standing tradition of rivalry with the Tuhoe, it is understandable that Te Arawa fighters

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Dates Waikato Maniapoto Tuhoe Taranaki Arawa Ngati Porou Wanganui Ngapuhi Ngati Toa and South Is.
circa 1750 Conflict with Ngati Toa Expansion to the North, West and East.   Traditional rivalty with Tuhoe and Hauraki tribes.     Expansion to South  
1810-20 Ascendency of Ngati Mahuta   Te Ati Awa dispersed by Ngati Toa and Ngati Mahuta       First missionaries Marsden, Kendall: Musket Wars  
1820 Matakitaki     Hongis Track Tapsell at Maketu Kawakawa   First British representatives Busby. Ngati Toa
1830 Peripheral missionary contact.     Increasing missionary contact. Increasing missionary contact.   Confederation Extend sphere of influence from Kapiti Island to South Island.
  Conflict between Ngati Haua and Te Arawa     Conflict with Ngati Haua Williams      
1840 Te Wherowhero indifferent to Treaty of Waitangi Peripheral missionary contact. Te Ati Awa return Tuwharetoa reject Treaty     Treaty signed. Flagstaff war. Wairau
1850 King movement begins   Waitara dispute.         Neutrality in Land Wars
      First Taranaki campaign Refusal to join King movement        
1860 Matutaera-Tawhiao   Pai Marire Second Taranaki campaign Enlistment in Kupapa except for Kereopa. Tuwharetoa neutral Enlistment in Kupapa. Ropata, McLean. Te Kooti exiled to Chathams. Pai Marire in Upper Wanganui, Moutoa. Kupapa in Lower Wanganui Neutrality in Land Wars  
  Waikato campaign Withdrawal into King Country Support for King movement at Orakau Te Kooti Titokowaru          
1870   Guerilla warfare in Urewera   Major role in Urewera campaign        
      Te Whiti, Tohu establishment of Parihaka          
1880 Return of King movement to Waikato Ringatu Church develops Parihaka sacked Te Kotahitanga Te Kotahitanga Te Kotahitanga Te Kotahitanga  
1890   Urewera Lands Act            
A Tribal Scheme of Events.
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should aid in the hunt for Te Kooti in the Urewera (Anderson and Petersen 1956:167-223).

There are similarities as well as differences between Te Arawa and the Ngati Porou. While the former tribe lay very close between other major tribal groups, the latter tended to be isolated by geographical features and furthermore was not threatened by the Ngati Kahungunu. Like Te Arawa, however, Pakeha influences had been marginal so that, for example, while Te Arawa had Tapsell at Maketu (Ward 1973:245, 285), Ngati Porou had Read (Cowan 1940:83) and other traders to the south at Turanga or Gisborne. Both tribes had had a relatively comfortable relationship with the missionaries and, with these factors in mind, it is under-standable that, just as Te Arawa prevented people coming from the Whakatohea and other districts to cross their lands in order to fight in the Waikato, so did the Ngati Porou stop the Hau Hau forces coming from Opotiki to Turanga at the same time. Having gone this far in support of the Pakeha, a step, it should be noted, that involved the deportation of Te Kooti to the Chathams (for it was in one of the battles along the coast that he was supposed to have collaborated with the enemy), Ropata and other leaders of the Ngati Porou were encouraged by McLean (Cowan 1940:78-104) to hunt down Te Kooti just as Gilbert Mair (Andersen and Petersen 1956) and others inspired Te Arawa to do the same thing. As a matter of mana or prestige, the war, having been started, had to be finished.

It is from the East Coast that two of the great leaders of the last quarter of the 19th century were to emerge. The first of these was James Carroll (Williams 1969:18-19, 52, 64, 158) whose mother was from Ngati Kahungunu, a group which had been neutral or “loyalist” in the Land Wars. Apirana Ngata (Butterworth 1968, 1972) came from the Ngati Porou and was to some extent groomed by Carroll. Both figures are discussed more fully below but here it should be noted that the legacy of the Land Wars had meant for these two leaders and their tribal groups, that they could lead from within Pakeha government. It is interesting to note the way in which both Carroll and Ngata used the “Te Kotahitanga” to illustrate Maori grievances but eventually argued successfully for the disbanding of the movement shortly after the turn of the century (Williams 1969:98-112).

Having considered tribal responses to government during the 19th century, it is now possible to consider a chronology of events which pertain to Maori society at large. It must be emphasised that even as late as the 1890s it is impossible to speak of the Maori people as a whole without constant recourse to tribal factors. However, the discussion above should make such recourse possible.

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As mentioned above, during the last decades of the 18th century and in the early years of the 19th, there appears to have been an upsurge in tribalism particularly in the Urewera (Best 1925a:210-518), the Waikato Maniapoto (Kelly 1949:253-314) district and in the north (Smith 1897, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1904). This would seem to illustrate the unicentric growth of political groupings from hapu to iwi size and the hardening of boundaries at the level of the iwi. This is important for our purposes since it shows the kind of political momentum established by 1800 as those and other Maori tribes began to encounter the European.

When events and their social significance are considered during this early period of culture contact and later in the 19th century, there is obviously a sense in which Maori communities generally were out of phase with events that occurred in one particular tribal area. This is a deceptive phenomenon. When, for example, Williams journeyed to the East Coast in the late 1820s he found Maori people preaching the Gospel where no European missionary had gone before. The most obvious explanation for this is that prisoners taken by Hongi Hika during the Musket Wars had been kept as slaves in the Bay of Islands and had been introduced to the missionaries and their teachings there. On their return, after the missionaries had persuaded the Ngapuhi that they be released, these exprisoners themselves became missionaries. Alternatively, it could be that “the word” spread southwards by word of mouth. 5 In any case, there is not usually such a congruence between localised contact and a country-wide comprehension. For example, the Treaty of Waitangi was conceived and signed in the north and tended to become a symbol of imposed unity for tribes in other parts of the country.

Events occurring in one tribal area did tend, eventually, to have comparable meanings in other tribal areas. For example, Hone Heke's Flag-staff War or Te Rauparaha's skirmish with the settlers at Wairau became acts of symbolic defiance known and considered as such on a country-wide scale. This was not restricted to the symbolic appeal of events, the precise details of the Waitara purchase in Taranaki being an important take or subject of discussion on marae throughout New Zealand during the late 1850s and afterwards.

The development of the King movement can be viewed in a sense as the adaptation of an already burgeoning tribalism advancing the interests of several tribes against Pakeha encroachment upon their land. There was a movement of ideas as well as toa, ‘fighting men,’ between tribes in the various phases of resistance to the Pakeha. The King movement showed a degree of syncretism, and, as has been argued earlier, it is best seen as a symbolic unitary movement with traditional tribal aspects. The 1860s were also an age of pan-tribal aspirations when there was a premium on - 72 charismatic leadership as reflected by leaders such as Te Ua, Titokowaru and Te Kooti. These men cleared the way for such later pan-tribal leaders as Te Whiti, in the late 1870s and 1880s, Ngata from the late 1890s until the 1940s, and Ratana in the 1920s and 30s. Figure 4 provides a synopsis of this sequence.

Events Political and cultural significance at the Pan-Tribal level
1820-46 Translation of the Bible into Maori. Literacy First change in significance of language
Pre 1840 Increasing intertribal conflict over preceding century Tribalism
1840 Treaty of Waitangi Imposed unity
1846-40 Hone Heke, The Flagstaff War, Te Rauparaha and New Zealand Company surveyors at Wairau. Symbolic defiance
1855-61 The Waitara dispute. First Taranaki campaign. Concrete disputes
1855-64 The Kingitanga-mana motuhake. The Waikato campaign. Syncretism Symbolic unitary movement
1864-70 Hau Hau-Te Ua, Titokowaru. Ringatu, Te Kooti guerilla resistance (Three focal points of tribal resistance—Waikato, Taranaki, Urewera) Charismatic leadership
1866 Four Maori seats in Parliament Imposed political structure
1867 Suppression of Maori in schools Second change in significance of language
1861 Parihaka, Te Whiti, Tohu Passive resistance
1885-1900 Te Kotahitanga—basically supported by formerly loyalist tribes. Ngapuhi, Arawa, Wanganui River, Ngati Porou and Ngati Kahungunu Replication of political forms. Separatism but not secession
1890-1900 Young Maori Party Bicultural leaders
1890-1910 Ascent of James Carroll Educated elite
1900-1930 Ascent of Pomare and Ngata  
1930- Ascent of Ratana Populist, prophet inspired pan-tribal movement
Synopsis of Events and their political significance
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In 1866, not long after the end of the war in the Waikato, the four Maori electorates were set up by the General Assembly (Jackson and Wood 1964, Kawharu 1975:18-19, Metge 1967:19). They had been proposed by Fitzgerald, of Canterbury, who, with other men of high principle led by Godley, had been active in the establishment of that province. The Northern, Eastern and Western Maori seats covered most of the North Island while the Southern Maori electorate extended over the South Island and a small part of the North. The Maori was granted the important right of universal male suffrage not enjoyed by Europeans until 1890. 6 The General Assembly and the Legislative Council (lower and upper Houses of Parliament respectively) passed the act as much as a matter of expediency as of liberal principle. While Fitzgerald had proposed the bill as early as 1862, it was passed only with the sponsorship of Donald McLean, who stressed the need for such a measure given the resistance of the King and Hau Hau movements. McLean had been Native Minister in the late 1850s and by 1866 he had become Superintendent of Hawkes Bay. With a record of efficiency and pragmatism in Maori concerns, he carried the support of the House.

The establishment of the Maori electorates became intimately involved with Maori land law. The seats were intended to be a short-term measure to become redundant as Maoris gained freehold title to land and eligible for the franchise in the European electorates. This was a remote possibility in 1867 because freeholding of Maori land had only been made possible for most Maori under the Native Lands Act of 1862 which had established a Native Land Court (Kawharu 1975:75-88). The work of the Court proceeded slowly and, although its effect was meant to be an increase in Maori freehold titles to land, the procedure of the Court came more and more to be based on customary rights and values. If title to customary land had been ascertained by the Court, then, under the 1862 Act, land could be freeholded. But individuals were discouraged to do this by tribal elders on the one hand and the Court itself, which eventually imposed restriction on the alienation of such land into freehold title because of the complications involved in such a process. As a class of Maori eligible to vote under the European franchise failed to emerge, the separate representation, entailed in the Maori electorates, was extended for a further five years in 1872, and then indefinitely from 1876. Even after the advent of male suffrage in 1890 appeals to end separate representation have met with only lukewarm support and the Maori seats have continued to exist until today.

With this relationship between land law and parliamentary representation in mind, the Te Kotahitanga movement of the 1890s may be considered. 7 Although largely composed of formerly loyalist tribes as noted - 74 earlier, this movement was country-wide in the sense that the venues of the Maori Parliament were as far afield as the Wairarapa (1897-98) in the south and Waitangi (1892-99) in the north. Meetings were also held at Rotorua (1895, 1900-1901) and on the East Coast at Waiomatatini (1902). Essentially the movement aimed at Maori control over legislation pertaining to Maori land; a Maori Parliament was to be the key, te kakau o te hoe, ‘the handle of the paddle,’ whereby this could be achieved.

By contrast, the country-wide leadership offered by the Young Maori Party tended to work within the procedures of the General Assembly, Native Department and the Native Land Court. As shown in Figure 4, the Young Maori Party began during the ascendancy of Carroll and he formed an important example for them. Trained and inspired to a large extent by Thornton, the headmaster of Te Aute College (Alexander 1951), members of the group surpassed Carroll in their bicultural feats. Where the latter had gained little formal education—though enough to become a great orator in both English and Maori—Ngata, Pomare and others had the benefit of a classical schooling which served them well in later years at university and in public life. By the turn of the century the Young Maori Party comprised the vanguard of a young well-educated elite (Sutherland 1935, 1940, Ramsden 1948, Butterworth 1968). They thought in national as much as in tribal terms and eventually came to occupy important posts in the Government, Ngata becoming Minister of Native Affairs and Pomare Minister of Health.

While the period covered by this paper, 1750-1900, is too early to allow secure conclusions in regard to pan-tribal Maori leadership and political development in the late 19th century, there are several clear features. For example, a four-fold distinction may be drawn as set out in Figure 5 along the axes of rangatiratanga (leadership) and mahi (activities). Mahi, in the sense used here, shows the application of leadership qualities to general areas.

Ngata, a truly great leader by any definition showed wide-ranging capacities in the course of a long career. Although a member of a trained elite, he none the less had a strong popular following especially among his own people, the Ngati Porou. A lawyer by profession, he was also steeped in the spiritual and cultural traditions of his tribe. Carroll had a strong popular base as a politician and devoted his career largely to government and administration.

The Kotahitanga movement lacked the direction by an elite and was concerned largely with Maori interests affected by Pakeha government and administration. The pacifist movement led by Te Whiti and Tohu at Parihaka which drew Maori support from all over New Zealand was populist and centred on religious and social principles (Scott 1954, 1975).

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Dimensions of Maori politics

The King and Ringatu movements were in a state of withdrawal and consolidation in the late 19th century but insofar as they had popular appeal on a country-wide basis it was similar to that of Te Whiti and Tohu. A striking exception of this was the election of King Mahuta to the Legislative Council in 1903. This made for the rare combination of a leader concerned with tribally based religious and social principles being involved in government and administration (Williams 1969:119).

The leadership of the various tribal and pan-tribal groups may be reviewed in terms of the kind of political interests which the leaders were following and developing. To begin with, the early resistance of Hone Heke and Te Rauparaha was predominantly concerned with the proposed authority of Pakeha government at an administrative level. Their actions were usually responses to land surveyors and the officialdom of the Government. They made few appeals to religious authority and nor was this expected of them by their followers. Similarly, Wiremu Kingi in Taranaki was a tribal leader responding to the machinery of Pakeha land law and made a significant contrast to his contemporary, Wiremu Tamihana, who appealed to concepts of nationhood and religion. There was an even sharper contrast between Kingi and his successors in Taranaki, the Hau Hau led firstly by Te Ua and then by Titokowaru. In fact, from 1860 onwards, Maori movements of resistance were, at least in a more overt sense, more involved in the advocacy of religious and social principles. Tawhiao became the leader of the King movement after his father, Potatau, who was more the traditional-styled chief. Te Kooti - 76 led his guerilla campaign in the Urewera and founded the Ringatu Church. Te Whiti and Tohu established the Pai Marire religion in Taranaki. From approximately 1880 the Kotahitanga movement represented an interest of the Maori community which was more centred on the administration of their own affairs. It was a response to the inadequacy of the four Maori M.P.s in representing those interests. The ascendancy of Carroll in the 1890s and the growth of the Young Maori Party over the same period, illustrate an increasing interest in the Maori community at large in participating in government. The situation is set out in Figure 6.

Maori Political Interests
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As described above, leadership, rangatiratanga and the pursuit of interests, mahi, engaged in by leaders were intricately bound up in a sense of community, whanaungatanga. The quality shown by the leader in his works for the community comprised his own and his community's mana. In some cases this sense of community prestige precluded the taking up of certain political interests. For example, the concept of mana motuhake embraced by the King movement may be taken to have meant a prestige set apart, a sense of social dignity to be considered on its own terms. In practical terms this meant a refusal to participate or rely on Pakeha institutions including schools and hospitals as well as the Native Land Court for most of the late 19th century. Leaders from tribes which had not been as deeply hostile to Pakeha government could advance tribal interests from within government without being so alienated from their own people. Ngata and Carroll illustrate this.

With an idea of mana in mind, it is possible to consider the political interests advanced by leaders in a more comprehensive manner. The diagram (Figure 7) has mana as its central premise. The mana of the community was seen in terms of the expectations and demands made of it by Government. In New Zealand after the Land Wars, the first premise of the General Assembly in dealing with Maori matters was that racial amalgamation was desirable. This was expressed increasingly in the later 19th century as part of a doctrine captured in the phrase: He iwi kotahi tatou, ‘We are one people’. Against this expectation by the Government the traditional and inherent sense of dignity extant in each community must be considered. The best example of this is the notion of mana motuhake considered above. If tribes became involved in the institutions of government they ran the risk of participating in the process of amalgamation, of being the kahawai, small fish, to be consumed by the mako, shark, as a later generation of Maori critics were to put it. 8 On the other hand, if tribes committed themselves more towards religious and social principles, they faced the prospect of being excluded from the benefits of Western technology and education.

These opposed expectations concerning Maori communities involved the creation of political bodies. In effect, it was Sir George Grey who began the policy of amalgamation. In the early 1860s he established runanga, or tribal councils, which were responsible to him as Governor (Ward 1973:125). The runanga were, in fact, rejected by movements such as Kingitanga on the basis that they were arms of Pakeha government. In a similar way, the Kotahitanga movement rejected the opportunities offered to Maoris through the Maori electorates as fraudulent and manipulative. At a later stage, and beyond the scope of this paper, the Ratana movement was to show this phenomenon again as it opposed

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FIGURE 7, Relationships of mana
Family Tree. Amalgamation, He iwi kotahi tatou, Government and Administration, Runanga, Maori M.P.s, Young Maori Party, Te kotahitanga, Executive leadership, Mana, Popularly based leadership, Ringatu, Kingitanga, Pai Marire, Religious and social principles, Mana Motuhake, Biculturalism
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Ngata and other members of the Young Maori Party after 1928. The runanga were meant to be representative of a traditional elite and to comprise councils of chiefs. By contrast, the Maori M.P.s were intended to be elected representatives of a people unused to Western democracy. The result was curious in that such a small body of men were given a little involvement in government at an executive level but very little real power in the General Assembly and Legislative Council. Members of the Young Maori Party were, of course, an educated elite and regarded themselves as such. As noted above, however, some of the group, particularly Ngata, showed great quality of leadership at a popular level, as well as in Government-created positions, and were as comfortable in administration as they were in spiritual and cultural matters. With Ngata's direction, the Young Maori Party did, in fact, do much to foster biculturalism even as it worked closely with the Government.

In contrast with such groups there are the Kingitanga, Pai Marire and Ringatu movements. These formed a set of political alternatives which resisted Government expectations of amalgamation. Each group was firmly based on a specifically Maori religion. There were differences in leadership, the Kingitanga, for example, having an hereditary executive while the Pai Marire movement was led by prophets who, in the case of Te Whiti and Tohu, had populist appeal. This set of groups made its own demands of political and social life in New Zealand, a central expectation being that the country should be bicultural 9 in institutional as well as in cultural terms. While the Kotahitanga wanted a Maori Parliament, this was essentially a secular, practical desire for greater participation in the administration of Maori land sales. The Kingitanga, Ringatu and Pai Marire movements were based to a greater extent on the premise of distinctive cultural and spiritual destinies for the Maori.

1. Words, old and new

So far the history of tribes has been traced in general terms with a view to discussing concepts of leadership and tribalism in relation to the emergence of political units larger than the tribe. Such concepts may be better understood in a study of the languages used by social groups and the political referents of those languages. The Treaty of Waitangi may, in fact, be considered as the meeting of two such groups, each possessing its own political lexicon which might be broken down as shown in Figure 8.

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Politicians Hobson Chiefs
Political Form Imperial Emissary Hui/Whakaminenga
Political Vocabulary Legal Anthropomorphic Mythological
Documentary Examples Treaty of Waitangi Pakeha Version Treaty of Waitangi Maori Version
Contexts and Events Signing of Treaty at Waitangi Signing of Treaty at Waitangi
External Authority Empire
Symbolic Authority God/Queen/Church of England Tribal Ancestors/God
Historiography Imperial Kinship (whanaungatanga)
  Informed by Genealogy (whakapapa)
  Church-State Integration Prestige (mana)

When people are conversant with two languages as well as the political discourses attendant on each, then it is difficult to draw such hard and fast distinctions as Figure 8 shows. While bilingual skills had been attained by several missionaries and by many chiefs by 1840, it is nevertheless true that few people had full bicultural competence. However, in the Maori concepts listed above there are already examples of traditional semantics being politicised and adapted for the new socio-political context. Whakaminenga, for example, refers to a gathering. The missionaries used the word to mean congregation while Busby used it for ‘confederation’ when he tried to establish a confederation of tribes in 1835.

There are also cases where overlapping of semantic systems has given rise to striking usages. For example, the concept of iwi ‘tribe’, or ‘bones’, may be used to strengthen the English concept of home. When speaking English, Maoris today will sometimes say, “My bones are there.” The equivalent, “My home is there”, is less by comparison because “bones” carries the implication of tribal burial grounds. Sometimes Maori words are used in English phrases to the same end. For example, another way of giving a stronger expression than the English - 81 “My home is there” would be “My turangawaewae is there,” or “That place is my turangawaewae.” The present writer has heard this process of interspersing one language with words from another referred to as “grasshopping.” The drafters of the Treaty of Waitangi were doing something similar in a cultural sense. Concepts like kawana, ‘governor,’ are invented and then extended to kawanatanga ‘government’ and happily or otherwise coincide with other concepts such as kawanatanga, ‘covenant.’ They are then placed alongside concepts like rangatiratanga with the effect of distorting traditional meanings (Cleave 1979). The sequence of sociopolitical formations described earlier (Figures 4-7) involves ideological readings of the Treaty and other texts to load or weight a monocultural or bicultural point of view as shown in Figures 9a and 9b.

Family Tree. Monocultural understanding, He iwi kotahi tatou, Young Maori party, Central contradiction of treaty, Kawanatanga, Rangatiratanga, Runanga Kupapa, Te Kotahitanga, Bi-cultural understanding, Mana Motuhake, Kingitanga Pai Marire
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  Young Maori Party Te Kotahitanga Kingitanga Pai Marire
Politicians Ngata, Pomare Kemp Mahupuku Tawhiao Te Whiti/Tohu
Political Form Vanguard Reformist Pressure Group Parliamentary Separatism Semi-Pacifist Separatist Regality Pacifist Prophetic Political/Religious Movement
Objectives Institutional and Cultural Adaption to Modernity Control of Legislation and Execution of Maori Land Laws Autonomous Control of Secular and Religious Life Pacifist Resistance to European Encroachment
Political Vocabulary Law/Treaty of Waitangi Law/Parliamentary Petition Treaty of Waitangi Biblical/Traditional Biblical/Traditional
Historical Antecedents Sir James Carroll Whakaminenga Runanga Kupapa Kingi Potatau Waikato/Maniapoto Tribalism Hau Hau/Pai Marire Ringatu
Symbolic Authority National Parliament Maoritanga Te Kotahitanga Mana Motuhake God Maori Monarchy God Mana Motuhake
  The Treaty of Waitangi The Treaty of Waitangi Mana Motuhake Kotahitanga  
The political lexicons used by Maori groups in the later 19th century
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2. The printed word

There is another socio-cultural mix which greatly affected conceptual change and socio-political definitions, and that was the virtually simultaneous introduction of literacy and Christianity.

The rapid spread of literacy among the Maori population has been noted by Jackson (1975:27-54), who also points out that Maori interest in religious instruction became intense only with the publication of religious texts which began to occur from 1830. Jackson's general contention is that “after 1830, the Maori people directed their attention away from exclusively material interests and focussed attention on the meaning behind (for it was never obvious) European cultural authority” (1975:31). The reference was, of course, to the Bible and other religious material, as there was virtually no other literature available as a matter of circumstance on the one hand and missionary policy on the other.

After 1830 a number of changes began to occur in Maori society. These were induced to some considerable extent by culture contact with Pakeha and to some extent by precontact developments. Jackson makes much of literacy per se as an important factor in these changes and he is undoubtedly correct in the essence of his thesis if not in its extent. Elsdon Best gives a translated quotation from one of his informants which would appear to fully support arguments for the added effect of literacy to communication:

When the missionaries first came among us, we were not much inclined in favour of their religion, not until they showed us many wonderful things, which we attributed to the superior power of their God. When they explained the use of written language to us, we did not believe them, and made many tests of the same, getting them to write messages one to another. Then we sent one away some distance, and saw that this writing was effective, and carried messages to distant and unseen persons. Then we said: ‘The god of the white man is more powerful than the Maori gods’. And so we embraced Christianity (Best 1925a:562-3).

Jackson, writing in the 1960s and early 1970s, is informed by such thinkers of his time as McLuhan (1962) and others in the general field of communications together with Riesman (1960) in sociology. Nowadays it is more difficult to be convinced of the sheer power of the printing press, or that the world becomes more private on the advent of literacy, although there are obvious merits in such arguments. The Maori situation is complex and there are a number of reasons for the breakdown of the traditional roles of the chiefs or of communal society in general during this period. The greatest change induced by literacy is hinted at in Jackson's argument but not developed, namely that a new form of - 84 objectivity in social discourse had come into existence. The role of literacy in personal interaction is difficult to assess simply because there were no studies of Maori individuality in the precontact era and, given the tendency of social anthropology to be social, there has been little work done since. There are exceptionally few letters in existence from this period written by Maori about themselves, no biographies and no confessions or soliloquies. There are, on the other hand, abundant examples of the following:

a matou korero me hoatu kia taia, kia rua ai nga kanohi he kite, kia rua nga taringa hei rongo, kia rua ai nga iwi hei hapai i tenei pai.
Let our words on this matter be printed so that they may be seen by two faces, heard by two ears and that two races may benefit. (A letter from the Runanga at Nepia to the Government cf. Cleave, 1977:93, N.Z. A.J.H.R. E, No. 3, H 3-4, 1861).

The letter, almost as a form of social contract, has, by the 1860s, come to have a similar sense of importance to that of whaikorero as discussed above. Indeed, the beginnings and endings of letters written by Maori show the features of whaikorero in striking ways. The printed word in a letter from a tribe to Government is, in effect, endowed with the same qualities and surrounded by similar injunctions as the spoken word on the marae. Hence it seems preferable to say that literacy offers a form of objectivity in social discourse between Maori and Pakeha and occasionally, usually because of distance, between Maori rather than to say after McLuhan, as Jackson does, that the “magic of the ear” is being replaced by the “neutrality of the eye” (Jackson 1975:47, McLuhan 1962:22). It might be worth speculating as to the extent to which literacy figures in those periods in history that Schermerhorn (1974) calls thresholds, periods in which members of ethnic groups re-evaluate their conceptual and material positions.

There were several clear features about the uses of literacy by some Maori between 1840 and 1870. The first was that by the early 1860s, especially in the Waikato, the letter and the newspaper were being used to state social manifestos. Such social statements were distinctive in several ways. Firstly, they were written in whaikorero style and, for the most part, in missionary Maori. Besides the general sense in which a biblical understanding is given to a great number of words and phrases used in the letters there is a striking use of Scripture which is similar to the use of proverbs, whakatauki, discussed earlier. There was not, unnaturally, a tendency to refer to those texts most favoured by the - 85 Maori. In the case of the Maori separatist movements, they were either from the Old Testament, or from apocalyptic texts. Through these aspects and, most importantly, the Bible, a set of bearings was given to a new spiritual and political configuration which was developing in the period 1850-70. Book I of Revelations is one of the more important texts in this development. There were a number of metaphorical coincidences between the passage quoted above and traditional Maori thought. Just as there were seven canoes there were seven churches in Asia. The number seven is given on several occasions in this passage. The idea of the beginning and the end being encompassed in one entity is found in the koru, the traditional central motif in Maori art design. The significance of the tongue and the notion that it could inflict irreparable pain was reflected in Rev.I:16. Literacy and the keeping of records were stressed several times. In Rev.I:3 the literate and the record-keepers were blessed and this was augmented by virtue of an imminent millennium. The injunction to write was repeated in Rev.I:19.

The Revelation of St. John is, of course, the social contract par excellence. The promise that “the time is at hand” has been given by God to Jesus Christ and from Christ to his servants and then by “his angel unto his servant John.” It is important to note that the phrase “which must shortly come to pass” is translated “nga mea meake nei rite.” Strictly rendered the Maori carries the sense of the things which much shortly be equalised or brought into a state of balance. Socially, the Maori is perhaps more millenarian than the English and the passage itself is especially important for the prophet-based Maori movements of the 19th and 20th centuries. Arepa and Omeka, Rev.I:8, are important concepts in the Ratana Church, and Ratana himself took the name of Mangai, ‘mouthpiece’ (Rev.I:16). There are strong coincidences of biblical and traditional Maori thought in body symbolism in the passage, the head, for example, which is a tapu part of the body, being given a supernatural aspect in Rev.I:14. The coincidence that is most often stressed is that of the voice. The force and the awesome power of the Lord's voice is stated in Rev.I:10. The beauty of the voice is evoked as it is likened to the image of wai maha, ‘many waters’ in Rev.I:15. There is a strong sense of urgency in the injunction to record the impression of the voice “to bear record of the word” (Rev.I:2) and perhaps most importantly, in Rev.I:19, to write of an experience which is threefold; that is, of the vision, the present and the future. Writing is, in this sense, a crucial aid in the knowledge of the revelation.

My argument is that the Bible itself, or the particular Bible of the Maori, firstly made literacy an imperative and, secondly, introduced an ideal of community which was nomothetically both possible and - 86 desirable for certain Maori groups. The conjunction of a sense of the importance of literacy with the ethics of the Old Testament and the visionary part of the New Testament was reflected in the villages established by Tamihana at Peria (Rickard 1963) in the 1840s and 1850s and in Te Whiti's settlement at Parihaka in the 1870s (Scott 1954, 1975). Tamihana's community was less devoted to the inspiration of a prophet but was still within such a spiritual and social spectrum. The 1860s and 1870s saw the development of a specifically Maori conception of an ideal society, a utopian vision which was to be made socially manifest in the Hau Hau, Pai Marire, Ringatu and King movements in the 19th century and in the Ratana movement and the communities founded by Rua Kenana at Maungapohatu (Webster 1972) and by Te Puea Herangi at Ngaruawahia (King 1977) in the 20th century. While commitment to European-style education varies between such communities, there is a consistent emphasis on reading and writing where Scripture is concerned and a very strong emphasis upon the recording of prophecies made by such figures as Te Whiti, Te Kooti and Tawhiao.

Once again these social developments occur mainly in the three areas of the King Country, the Urewera and in Taranaki. The introduced factor, literacy, meets the local “trigger” factor, rangatiratanga, and the result is an emphasis on prophecy and the recording of actions by leaders. A “treshold” is reached as internal sociopolitical developments crystallize in the context of new media.

3. The tribe and history

Beyond these factors the argument of this paper is that careful attention should be given to the sense of history and the type of discourse found in any sociopolitical context. The sociology and the historiography of community may be considered in terms of that which is nomothetically possible. Where this becomes potentially difficult is in the comparison of sociopolitical contexts. That students of historiography may be aware of this is evinced by Gareth Stedman Jones in the following quotation.

For, as Lévi-Strauss has pointed out, history's only distinctive possession is a heterogeneous collection of chronological codes. Yet chronology only attains meaning as a method of formulating the historical character of structures. In a minimal sense at least, all great history is structural history. In England this has never been acknowledged. The differential temporality of linked historical structures has been obscured by the myth that all events are conjoined by the mere fact of continuous succession in time. The converse is equally true. Merely because parts of a social system are con- - 87 temporaneous they do not necessarily inhabit the same historical time. Only a theoretical practice which integrates these two fundamental axioms will seize the dialectic of any determinate historical development (Jones 1974:115—emphasis mine).

The study of tribalism and ethnicity is, in a fundamental sense, the analysis of the specific historical time in which an ethnic group exists. “The differential temporality of linked historical structures” is a basic object in the study of situations involving two or more sociopolitical groups. More than this, however, the particular historiographies of tribes and ethnic groups—whether these are organic, dehumanising of other groups in an ethnocentric sense of history, relatively closed or open—constitute fundamental objects of study. For it is only through a thoroughgoing methodology, which allows the historiographies of ethnic groups existing in the same society to be revealed, that the significance of events which occur to both groups—such as the Treaty of Waitangi or the Land Wars for Maori and Pakeha societies—may be fully assessed. Particularly in what have been termed “threshold” periods, the sense of history known in a particular society has important bearings on the way in which people in that society perceive themselves and other groups.

Any discussion of the various Maori historiographies entails the consideration of several questions. Historical studies of nations or of classes usually involve distinct and specific historiographical approaches by virtue of the object of historical analysis in each case. There are considerable problems posed in studies of ethnicity. Firstly, ethnicity is resistant to either class based or nationalist historiography in virtue simply of being a different object of study. Secondly, ethnicities themselves not only entail their own histories but have themselves distinct and specific historiographies just as they have distinctive symbolic referents. For example, the guiding historical principle in Maori tribal ethnicity is that of kinship traced through whakapapa or genealogy. On the other hand, the guiding principle of pan-tribal movements tends not to be that of kinship, so that the Ratana movement has the birth and death of its prophet, the division of secular and temporal periods in the course of the movement, and the goal of uniting a dispossessed class, the morehu, ‘remnants,’ in a spiritual and a political struggle, as perspectives of evaluation in the movement's history. At another level it should be possible to annotate the historiographical orientation of writers on the Maori as has been done for histories of New Zealand (Pickens 1977).

Accordingly, the way in which Schermerhorn's notion of “thresholds” might be understood in this case is as the manifestation of distinctive forms of political thought, usually involving changing configurations of historiography and discourse. Such changes do not occur - 88 in vacuo and the development of political interests by the various committees involved should be kept firmly in mind.

There are, to use Stedman-Jones' argument, a set of historical structures at tribal and pan-tribal levels which are linked differentially. This approach may also be used in the field of race relations, the growth of the “we are one people” ideology being an example of Pakeha politicians consciously making historical linkages between Maori and Pakeha. This need not involve an essential coherence of political thought at an epistemological level although similarities do exist between groups. It is not possible to speak in Foucault's terms of a “table” of political thought except perhaps in an occasional and isolated comment by a Seddon or a Wiremu Tamihana. However, it is possible and indeed necessary to ascertain the existence of specific social and political epistemologies and to find coherence between some of them. The case studies given earlier serve to show that, given a certain kind of historiography, there will be a corresponding attitude to pan-tribalism, the King movement being perhaps the best example. In this way historiography should be seen as a factor in the “trigger” process outlined earlier, and is made all the more important as a factor usually discounted or omitted by social anthropologists. A more complete model would include leadership as well as history at the level internal to the tribe, rangatiratanga and whakapapa leading to a certain kind of whanaungatanga. The social and historical linkages between tribes give a second dimension to the model while another aspect is provided with the notion of political lexicography, involving the use of biblical concepts and the effects of literacy. The broader intention of this paper has been to use all of those features to account for tribal and state-like formations ranging, for example, from the nomothetic possibilities of the King movement on the one hand to the pan-tribal kotahitanga on the other.

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1   A number of letters from both papers are collected in Cleave (1976).
2   There are several accounts of Te Kooti (Greenwood 1942, Fowler n.d., Misur 1975:97-118) which vary in quality. Greenwood gives an accurate chronology of events, Fowler gives a more subjective account while Misur treats Te Kooti and the Ringatu Church in more sociological terms.
3   Clark (1975) Babbage (1937).
4   Like Te Ati Awa, the northern tribes have not been comprehensively studied as a group although scholars have approached particular events such as the Flagstaff war in a thorough fashion (Wards 1868:95-213). On the other hand, the traditional history of the area has been examined both by early scholars such as S. P. Smith (1898, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1904) and later commentators such as Simmons (1976:208-34).
5   Jackson 1975:37 would seem to support the former view however.
6   Metge (1967) and Kawharu (1975) both make the point that Maori had been excluded from any franchise at all in the years between 1852 (when self-government began) and 1867.
7   While Williams (1969) provides a good general analysis of the movement, Kawharu (1975) and Ward (1973:281-93) give valuable insights into the movement's response to land law and government respectively.
8   This being the response on various marae to the arguments of the Hunn report (Hunn 1962).
9   This argument echoes but is not in strict congruence with that of ‘ambiculturalism’ set forward by Schwimmer (1968:9-63). There are differences of period as well as perspective, Schwimmer being essentially concerned with the mid-20th century and it would be unwise to make comparsions and contrasts for this reason.