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Old New Zealand: Being Incidents of Native Customs and Character in the Old Times by A Pakeha Maori


page iii


To the English reader, and to most of those who have arrived in New Zealand within the last thirty years, it may be necessary to state that the descriptions of Maori life and manners of past times, found in these sketches, owe nothing to fiction. The different scenes and incidents are given exactly as they occurred, and all the persons described are real persons.

Contact with the British settlers has of late years effected a marked and rapid change in the manners and mode of life of the natives, and the page iv Maori of the present day are as unlike what they were when I first saw them as they are still unlike a civilized people or British subjects.

The writer has, therefore, thought it might be worth while to place a few sketches of old Maori life on record, before the remembrance of them has quite passed away; though in doing so he has by no means exhausted an interesting subject, and a more full and particular delineation of old Maori life, manners, and history has yet to be written.