Story: Death rates and life expectancy

Māori family, 1770s

Māori family, 1770s

In 1773, during James Cook's second voyage of exploration to New Zealand, artist William Hodges sketched a Māori family at Dusky Sound, Fiordland. At this time Māori life expectancy was about 30 years. After Māori contact with Europeans and European diseases, life expectancy declined significantly.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: C-051-031
Engraving after a drawing by William Hodges

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Ian Pool, 'Death rates and life expectancy - Effects of colonisation on Māori', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 19 July 2024)

Story by Ian Pool, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 14 Mar 2019