The Missionary Period
The arrival of the European brought far-reaching changes in Maori social life. To meet the demands of the new culture, radical changes in the system of education became necessary. First to accept the challenge were the missionaries who set up schools with the object of converting the natives as quickly as possible to Christianity. The first school commenced under Thomas Kendall at Rangihoua in 1816. The Wesleyans followed in 1822, and the Roman Catholics in 1838. Mission schools rapidly increased in number and their influence spread to the most remote areas. While the instruction was mainly of a religious nature, the Maori language was taught through translations of the Bible and Catechism. There was practical needlework for the girls, also carpentry and field work for the boys.