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Fretful Sleepers and Other Essays


But in fact the regeneration came, as it had to come, from the Maori themselves, and partly by a means that Baucke condemned as useless, higher education, by the efforts of the group of ex-students of Te Aute College who formed the Young Maori Party. The Ngati-Porou of the East Coast, who had been less affected by the Pakeha occupation and had retained most of their land, turned to sheep-farming, and later also dairy page 51 farming; a thing which, according to Grace and Baucke, was impossible for a 'warrior race'. Sir James Carroll, a part-Maori, urged the people not to forget their Maoritanga. There were signs of the beginning of a new hope and consciousness of identity, a determination not to be absorbed or assimilated. Since then, the Maori economic position has improved and Maoris are now taking up skilled and professional jobs more than formerly. The population in June, 1958, was estimated at 148,248, over three times what it has been in 1896.14 Of the Maori population at the end of 1955, 59 per cent were under 21 (as against 38 per cent Pakeha).15 The birthrate in 1957 was 46 per 1,000 (as against 24 per 1,000 Pakeha) and the natural increase of the Maori population 3.6 per cent (as against 1.5 per cent Pakeha). Even so, the average Maori has fourteen to sixteen years' less expectation of life than the average Pakeha; and infant mortality in the five years I953-57 was 67 per 1,000 births (compared with 20 per 1,000 Pakeha births).16

Further, according to the 1951 census, the proportion of Maoris among the lower income-groups was higher than that of Pakeha; and about one-eighth of Maori houses were of a standard most Pakeha would despise— huts, whares and baches.17

14 Monthly Abstract of Statistics, 30 September 1958, p. 13.

15 New Zealand Official Yearbook 1957.

16 The 1957 figures are from the New Zealand Official Yearbook 1958.

17 New Zealand Population Census 1951, VIII, pp. 63, 65. The statistics show 3.36% Maoris earning £700 or more in a year, against 18.6% pakeha; 12.06% Maoris living in huts, whares and baches, against 2.08% pakeha.