Story: European ideas about Māori

Anaura Bay gardens

Anaura Bay gardens

This illustration of Māori gardens at Anaura Bay on the East Coast is a modern re-creation of the scene, based on the observations of James Cook and his fellow explorers. Their views influenced the idea that Māori were efficient agriculturalists and therefore very good candidates for conversion and civilisation. Missionaries were among the early European settlers who believed that Māori were, like Europeans, descended from Adam and Eve, and therefore capable of advancing quickly in the arts of European civilisation.

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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Reference: Helen Leach, 1,000 years of gardening in New Zealand. Wellington: Reed Publishing, 1984, p. 65
Drawing by Nancy Tichborne

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How to cite this page:

James Belich, 'European ideas about Māori - Biblical ideas, early 19th century', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 31 March 2023)

Story by James Belich, published 5 May 2011