Story: Kāwanatanga – Māori engagement with the state

Rūnanga system, 1861

Rūnanga system, 1861

This diagram indicates the complicated system of village rūnanga, or councils, introduced by Governor George Grey in 1861. The system was intended to apply to 'the whole native territory', which would be divided into about 20 districts, each under an Pākehā civil commissioner. Each district would be further divided into smaller units controlled by chiefs, native magistrates, wardens and other officers. In practice, few of these rūnanga were formed or proved long-lasting.

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Source: Lindsay Cox, Kotahitanga: the search for Maori political unity. Auckland: Oxford University Press, 1993

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How to cite this page:

Paul Meredith and Rawinia Higgins, 'Kāwanatanga – Māori engagement with the state - Containing Māori opposition', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 14 April 2024)

Story by Paul Meredith and Rawinia Higgins, published 20 Jun 2012, updated 1 Aug 2016