Story: Ideas about Māori origins

Frontispiece of The Maori race (1st of 2)

Frontispiece of The Maori race

For much of the first half of the 20th century it was believed that a pre-Māori people called Moriori inhabited New Zealand. Today Moriori are regarded as descendants, like Māori, of the original Polynesian settlers who arrived in about the 13th century. The scholar Edward Tregear published this book, The Maori race, in 1904. He kept an open mind on the possibility that there were inhabitants in New Zealand prior to Māori. He also argued that the Moriori of the Chatham Islands were Polynesians who had some connection with the South Island.

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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Reference: Edward Tregear, The Maori race. Wanganui: A. D. Willis, 1904.

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How to cite this page:

K. R. Howe, 'Ideas about Māori origins - 1840s–early 20th century: Māori tradition and the Great Fleet', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 17 May 2022)

Story by K. R. Howe, published 8 Feb 2005