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State Authority, Indigenous Autonomy: Crown-Maori Relations in New Zealand/Aotearoa 1900-1950


While this book focuses on the first half of the twentieth century, to begin at 1900 would be misleading. First of all, then, it sketches out themes from the previous century which are relevant to the quest for rangatiratanga. In their counterfactual quest for ways in which imperialism might have been more accommodating to indigenes, 'wishful thinking' historians have highlighted British acquiescence in the continued existence of certain indigenous customs and institutions, suggesting that such tolerance could have been greatly expanded. This is to miss the point that has already been stressed, that such concessions were expedients designed to be no more than temporary. The goal remained that of fully 'civilising savages'.