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First encounters and colonial history of Aotearoa New Zealand

Links to resources relating to the theme of first encounters and colonial history of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Tuia 250 Encounters – Hei akoranga māu Learn: Encounters in 1769–70

This website was created to support the commemoration of 250 years since the first meetings between Māori and Pākehā in 1769–70. Use the links to learn more about these aspects of New Zealand's history, as well as access resources for teachers and parents.

Visit Tuia 250 Encounters – Hei akoranga māu Learn: Encounters in 1769–70

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Tuia Mātauranga education programme

The Tuia Mātauranga education programme is aimed at inspiring children and young people to explore their own stories of who they are and where they come from, to develop a sense of whakapapa and identity.

Visit Tuia Mātauranga education programme

NZ History – Encounters

NZ History website has stories of Pacific and European voyaging and discovery, early meetings between peoples, and how Māori explored the world. You can also follow James Cook, Tupaia, and the Endeavour on Google Earth as they circumnavigate the world and explore the coast of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Visit NZ History – Encounters

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Te Ara – Story: Māori

This section of Te Ara tells the story of Māori in New Zealand – their arrival, early settlement and pre–European society, the arrival of Europeans and the effect of this, the decline of Māori culture and society at the beginning of the 20th century, urbanisation, modern protest, renaissance, and challenges of the 21st century. Includes short summary, images, maps, audio.

Visit Te Ara – Story: Māori

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NZ History – A history of New Zealand 1769 – 1914

This section of NZ History website describes the period in NZ between the arrival of James Cook (1769) and the First World War, (1914) when New Zealand was transformed from an exclusively Māori world into one in which Pākehā dominated numerically, politically, socially, and economically. Includes images and video.

Visit NZ History – A history of New Zealand 1769 – 1914

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National Library – Teaching and Learning Resources: First encounters and early colonial history of Aotearoa NZ

National Library has collections of curated online resources about first encounters and early colonial history of Aotearoa New Zealand. These digital collections include websites, images, documents, film, video, audio, book lists, and more. There are Topic Explorer sets, Curiosity Cards, learning activities, Many Answers, AnyQuestions and other digital collections to support and inspire student inquiry.

Visit National Library – Teaching and Learning Resources: First encounters and early colonial history of Aotearoa NZ

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National Library – Topic Explorer: Treaty of Waitangi

National Library's Topic Explorer has collections of curated digital resources related to the Treaty of Waitangi. These include websites, images, documents, film, video, audio, book lists, and more.

Visit National Library – Topic Explorer: Treaty of Waitangi

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National Library – Topic Explorer: First encounters

This topic set relates to first encounters between Polynesian cultures, particularly Māori, and European explorers and includes images, videos, books, articles, audio files, newspapers, websites, research papers, and resource sets.

Visit National Library – Topic Explorer: First encounters

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National Library – Topic Explorer: He Whakaputanga (te reo Māori)

This topic set relates to He Whakaputanga (te reo Māori) and includes images, resource sets, articles, manuscripts, newspapers, videos, guides and factsheets, websites, and audio files.

Visit National Library – Topic Explorer: He Whakaputanga (te reo Māori)

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National Library – Topic Explorer: Treaty of Waitangi

This topic set relates to the Treaty of Waitangi and includes images, articles, videos, websites, resources sets, books, manuscripts, research papers, newspapers, and audio files.

Visit National Library – Topic Explorer: Treaty of Waitangi

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National Library – Topic Explorer: He Whakaputanga (English)

This topic set relates to He Whakaputanga (English) and includes images, articles, resource sets, audio files, newspapers, websites, books, videos, and manuscripts.

Visit National Library – Topic Explorer: He Whakaputanga (English)

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National Library – Many Answers: First encounters (Senior primary)

This page includes information about researching the first encounters between Māori and European explorers, tips, and links.

Visit National Library – Many Answers: First encounters (Senior primary)

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National Library – Topic Explorer: Māori history post-European arrival

This topic set relates to Māori history post-European arrival and includes images, articles, resource sets, videos, websites, research papers, books, newspapers, and audio files.

Visit National Library – Topic Explorer: Māori history post-European arrival

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National Library – Many Answers: Captain Cook, 1728–1779 (Senior primary)

This page includes information about researching Captain James Cook, tips, and links.

Visit National Library – Many Answers: Captain Cook, 1728–1779 (Senior primary)

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National Library – Many Answers: Māori history (Junior secondary)

This page includes information about researching Māori history (junior secondary), tips, and links.

Visit National Library – Many Answers: Māori history (Junior secondary)

National Library – Many Answers: Early settlers, New Zealand (Junior secondary)

This page includes information about researching Early Settlers in New Zealand, tips, and links.

Visit National Library – Many Answers: Early settlers, New Zealand (Junior secondary)

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NZ History – Pre 1840 contact

NZ History website describes pre–1840 events in New Zealand – first encounters; relations between Māori and Europeans; 'go–betweens' who acted as intermediaries between cultures; missionaries, sealers, and whalers; and the 1835 Declaration of Independence.

Visit NZ History – Pre 1840 contact

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NZ History: Timeline – Date

For a timeline of New Zealand's history you can search topics, events, people and places by A–Z, year date, or month on the NZ History website.

Visit NZ History: Timeline – Date

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Te Ara – Images and media: First encounters

Te Ara website has images of artefacts, and historical depictions of early Māori and European encounters and events.

Visit Te Ara – Images and media: First encounters

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NZHistory: Māori and European population numbers, 1838–1901

This graph shows the dramatic change in the proportion of Māori to non–Māori in New Zealand population during the mid and late 19th century, particularly after 1856.

Visit NZHistory: Māori and European population numbers, 1838–1901

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National Library: Curiosity Cards

This guide may be used to support using the curiousity cards to spark student inquiry into New Zealand's bicultural heritage including He Tohu (three constitutional documents) and Tuia – Encounters 250.

Visit National Library: Curiosity Cards

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National Library – Curiosity Cards: Māori bartering with Joseph Banks (CC0001)

Use this curiosity card about Tupaia's 1769 painting of a Māori man and Joseph Banks bartering to spark student inquiry. There are also links to further resources.

Visit National Library – Curiosity Cards: Māori bartering with Joseph Banks (CC0001)

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National Library – Curiosity Cards: Te Horeta's nail (CC0002)

Use this curiosity card about Te Horeta's nail to spark student inquiry. There are also links to further resources.

Visit National Library – Curiosity Cards: Te Horeta's nail (CC0002)

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National Library – Curiosity Cards: The "Crook Cook" statue (CC0003)

Use this curiosity card about the 'Crook Cook' statue to spark student inquiry. There are also links to further resources.

Visit National Library – Curiosity Cards: The "Crook Cook" statue (CC0003)

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National Library – Curiosity Cards: Tuki te Terenui Whare Pirau's map (CC0006)

Use this curiosity card about Tuki te Terenui te Whare Pirau's map (the first Māori map of Aotearoa, drawn in 1793) to spark student inquiry. There are also links to further resources.

Visit National Library – Curiosity Cards: Tuki te Terenui Whare Pirau's map (CC0006)

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He Tohu – He Whenua Rangatira. A Māori land.

This video and animation from the He Tohu exhibition shows the history of Māori arrivals from 1200, European arrivals from 1642 and the signing of He Whakaputanga from 1835 to 1839.

Visit He Tohu – He Whenua Rangatira. A Māori land.

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Ministry of Education Instructional Series search – Colonisation

Search the School Journal series for stories and articles that focus on early colonisation in New Zealand. A number of these include teacher support material.

Visit Ministry of Education Instructional Series search – Colonisation


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