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The Maori: Yesterday and To-day

What the Census Shows

What the Census Shows.

In 1926, the year of the last census, there were 63,670 Maoris, of whom 11,306 were half-castes and 6,632 three-quarter Maoris. The total native population showed an increase of about 18,000 on the figures of the census twenty-five years previously. In the last census the males numbered 23,783 and the females 21,646. Over 61 per cent. of the males and 63 per cent. of the females were under 25 years of age. The Government Statistician, in commenting on the census figures, said that already probably almost one half of the Maori community was no longer of pure Maori descent and could never again contribute to the quota of pure page 8 Maori. The pure Maori remnant must inevitably suffer attrition as members from time to time marry outside its ranks. “The analogy of other races in other countries does not lend colour to the theory of indefinite survival, but the somewhat gloomy prophecies of rapid extinction held in past years by such men as Featherston, Hochstetter, Newman, Buller and Walsh have happily been refuted.” One statistician considered it very doubtful whether the race could survive the gradual infiltration of European strains. Its continuance as a separate entity for many generations was assured, but its indefinite continuance was quite another matter. In other words, there would most probably be in the future a complete blending of the two races.

An estimate of the Maori population in February, 1929, was 65,441.

In 1919, of 814 men of the Maori Pioneer Battalion returning from service in France, 48 per cent. had European blood; and of 4,500 native school children investigated in 1922, the percentage with white blood was 50.1 per cent.

Ninety-six per cent of the Maori population is in the North Island and seventy per cent. in the Auckland province. In 1926 the Maoris recorded in the South Island numbered only 2,804. The North Auckland peninsula holds almost one-fourth of the whole Maori population. In particular the counties of Hokianga and Bay of Islands, with an aggregate native population of 7,280, represent the densest Maori communities of the present day.

Of the Moriori, or Mai-oriori race, the original people of the Chatham Islands, there is only one solitary pure-blood member to-day; this is Tami Horomona, a sheep-farmer at Awapatiki. He has a Maori wife. Tami's forefathers were such page 9
Map showing districts of the principal Maori Tribes in New Zealand

showing districts
of the principal
Maori Tribes
in New Zealand

page 10 inveterate lovers of the peaceful life that they eschewed all weapons of war and all military exercises, with the natural consequence that they fell the easiest of victims to the cannibal Maori invaders headed by Pomare, of Ngati-Mutunga, nearly a century ago.