For over 500 years, Polynesians had New Zealand to themselves. However, towards the end of the 1700s, Europeans started arriving to exploit the resources of the country. A technologically advanced culture began interacting with a Stone Age society, and those connections increased as more and more settlers, mainly British, arrived.
This book is about those interactions in the 19th century and the impact of colonisation on Maori. The book examines the early history of Polynesian settlement together with the subsequent European interest, and the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi following the reluctant British decision to take on New Zealand as a country.
Throughout, the book relies heavily on accounts of the people who were living through the events of the time.