New Zealand is the name of a British colony in the South Pacific Ocean, which consists of three volcanic islands, and of a number of islets scattered around the coasts, having an area of about 106,000 square miles, with a coast-line measuring about 4000 miles, on the best-named account, and a population (in 1886) of 578,482 Europeans, besides 41,969 natives.
Soil, Climate, and Productions. — Of the whole surface extent of New Zealand (nearly 70,000,000 acres, little short of the combined area of England and Wales, Scotland, and Ireland), one fourth is estimated to consist of dense forest tracts, one half of excellent soil, and the remainder of waste lands, scoriae-hills, and rugged mountain regions. The mountains are mostly clothed with evergreen forests of luxuriant growth, interspersed with fern-clad ranges, and occasionally with treeless, grassy plains. Extensive and rich valleys and sheltered dales abound in North Island; and in the east of South Island there are many expansive plains of rich meadowland, and nearly 40,000,000 acres are estimated to be more or less suitable for agriculture and cattle-breeding. The soil, although often clay, has in the volcanic districts more than a medium fertility; but the luxuriant and semi-tropical vegetation is perhaps as much due to excellence of climate as to richness of soil. Owing to the prevalence of light and easily worked soils, all agricultural processes are performed with unusual ease. The climate is one of the finest in the world. The country contains few physical sources of disease; the average temperature is remarkably even at all seasons of the year, and the atmosphere is continually agitated and freshened by winds that blow over an immense expanse of ocean. In North Island the mean annual temperature is 57°; in South Island 52°. The mean temperature of the hottest month at Auckland is 68°, and at Otago 58°; of the coldest month, 51° and 40°. The air is very humid, and the fall of rain is greater than in England, but there are more dry days. All the native trees and plants are evergreens. Forests, shrubberies, and plains are clothed in green throughout the year, the results of which are that cattle, as a rule, browse on the herbage and shrubs of the open country all the year round, thus saving great expense to the cattle-breeder; and that the operations of reclaiming and cultivating land can be carried on at all seasons. The seasons in New Zealand are the reverse of ours: January is their hottest month, and June the coldest. The principal products of the soil are wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, and sown grass. Maize and beans and pease are also raised in great abundance, and any other vegetable, grain, grass, or fruit produced in the United States of America can be cultivated successfully in New Zealand. With the exception of a few harmless lizards, no animals that annoy or hurt are encountered by the invading European. The small species of rat is the only objectionable four-footed inhabitant of New Zealand. Hawks are numerous. Snakes are not to be found at all, nor do insects that worry or hurt abound. The pig, introduced by Cook, runs wild, and the red and fallow deer, the pheasant, partridge, quail, etc., and the common domestic animals introduced by colonists thrive well.
The People, and their Customs and Religious Belief. The native inhabitants of New Zealand are the Maoris (which name signifies native, or indigenous), and, with the natives of Polynesia generally, they belong to the Malayan race. SEE MALAYS. Though calling themselves indigenous, the Maoris have a tradition that their ancestors migrated to the present seat of the nation from the north-east — the island of Hawaiki — about 500 years ago. "They came," the legend goes, "in seven canoes, which had outriggers, to prevent foundering, and were called Amatiatia, being very different from those subsequently used by them, which were much simpler in construction, and named Wakka. The first of these canoes that touched at New Zealand was named Arawa, and this brought over the first settlers from whom the Maori are descended." If any faith is to be attached to this tradition, Hawaiki was, probably, the same as Hawaii, the principal of the Sandwich Islands, distant about 4000 miles north-east of New Zealand. Some, however, suppose that it may have been Savaii, one of the Samoan or Navigators' Islands, a group not half that distance away. The tradition says nothing of any indigenous population found in New Zealand before the arrival of these immigrants. Many writers, however, incline to the belief that it was previously inhabited by a darker race, somewhat akin to the Papuas of New Guinea. SEE NEGRITOS. Supposing that the two races, in process of time, intermingled, this might account, in some measure, for the differences apparent between the Maori and the Tahitians, Samoans, Sandwich Islanders, and other natives of the Pacific. But whether of pure or mixed race, all testimony combines in representing the Maori as a nation standing very high in the scale of humanity. The skin of the Maori is in general of an olive-brown color, but there are some in whom the shade is much lighter, while in others it is darker. In stature they almost equal Englishmen, and have a powerful muscular development. They have well- shaped, intellectual heads, and their features, when not tattooed night almost be taken for European. Few of them have beards or whiskers, it being an immemorial custom with them to pluck out the hair on the face with pipi shells. On the head, the majority have long black hair, with a slight wave in it; but with some it is of a reddish tinge, and some Maori again have the hair slightly frizzled. Their eyes are large, their lips thick, and their teeth, unlike those of most savage nations, are large and irregular.
The women are of less stature than the men in proportion, and are in other respects inferior to them, perhaps from their marrying too young, and having to perform too much of the drudgery of life. Some of the women, however, are represented as being delicately molded, with long eyelashes, pleasing features, and a plaintive, pathetic voice, which makes them highly interesting. The whole nation is divided into seventeen families or clans; but though they originally kept strictly distinct, they have since the invasion of the whites intermingled freely, especially in the last twenty years. There seem to have existed such great distinctions among the several clans that the diifferences closely resemble the caste distinctions of India. Wars against each other were frequent, and cannibalism was freely practiced until within the last forty years. The system of taboo, or consecration of persons and things by the native priests as sacred and inviolate, so common to the Pacific isles, nowhere prevailed to a greater extent than in New Zealand when first opened to colonization. This was partly a religious and partly a political ordinance, and was so much respected that even in war times hostile tribes left unharmed all persons and things thus protected by the taboo of the opposite side. Tattooing was practiced, and was made a much more painful operation than in the other Pacific isles; it was performed with a hammer and saw-like chisel. The punctures were stained with vegetable dyes, and the patterns, which extended over the face, hips, thighs, etc., represented ornamental scrolls and figures, supposed to denote the rank of the individual wearing them. The women were but slightly tattooed, with a few lines on the lips, chin, and occasionally other parts of the body. The priests were the principal operators, and during the process ancient songs were sung, to encourage, divert the attention, and increase the patience of the sufferers. This tattooing was supposed to make the Maori youth both more terrible in the eves of his enemies and more acceptable in those of his mistress.
The wars of the Maori were formerly carried on with spears and clubs of various kinds, manufactured, as is the custom, according to ethnologists, among lowly civilized people, of stone and wood. Their most remarkable weapon was a spear of nephrite, which descended among the principal chiefs from father to son, and was regarded as a kind of scepter, and even a sacred object. It was called Merimeri, "the fire of the gods," and was sometimes used for scalping prisoners. There are other weapons of nephrite in use among the Maori; they are much sought after, and very costly. The use of firearms is now, however, very general among the Maori, and that they are adroit marksmen has been made but too apparent in their contests with English troops.
The heathen religion of the New Zealanders was largely mythological; temples were wanting; superstition and sleight of hand, however, played an important part in their religious system, and the priest virtually ruled and had his own way in everything. Most pernicious practices were thus introduced and freely encouraged to strengthen and perpetuate priestly power. The New Zealanders worshipped various gods, apparently personifications of natural objects and powers, to whom they addressed prayers and offered sacrifices. Their divinities were spiritual and invisible; they had no idols. Many of the gods were deified men, ancestral chiefs of the tribe or nation by whom they were worshipped. They believed in a future state and in their own immortality. There were two distinct abodes for departed spirits, neither of which was a place of punishment, evil deeds being punished in this world by sickness and other personal misfortunes. Their priests were supposed to be in communication with their gods, and to express their wishes and commands. Sorcerers were thought to possess great power, and were held in peculiar dread. The moral code was adapted to various social conditions and circumstances. Among chiefs courage, liberality, command of temper, endurance of torture without complaint, revenge of injuries, and abstinence from insults to others, were regarded as virtues; among slaves, obedience to their masters and respect for the taboo; among married women, fidelity to their husbands. Their idea of Wiro, the evil spirit. was nearly akin to the scriptural idea of the evil one. Sickness, they supposed, was brought on by him, coming in the form of a lizard, and, entering the side, preyed on the vitals. Hence they made incantations over the sick, threatening to kill and eat their deity, or to burn him to a cinder, unless he should come out. With the New Zealander superstition took the place of medical skill. When a person had a pain in the back, he would lie down and get another to jump over him and tread on him to remove the pain. A wound was bruised with a stone, and afterwards held over the smoke. In internal acute diseases the patient sent for a priest, lay down, and died. Dreams and omens were much regarded, and had great influence over their conduct. On important occasions, when several tribes were going to war, all oracle was consulted by setting up sticks to represent the different tribes, and watching the wind to see which way the sticks would fall, in order to determine which party would be victorious. But the person performing the ceremony, by a little juggling, could determine the question as he pleased. The belief in witchcraft, also, almost universally prevailed, and was productive of all the suspicion, cruelty, and injustice which generally accompany it among a barbarous and superstitious people. A ceremony, called iriii, or rohi, was performed by the priests upon infants before they were a month old, and consisted of a species of baptism, sometimes by sprinkling and sometimes by immersion. The Rev. W. Butler thus relates the ceremony in Newcomb's Cyclopaedia of Missions, s.v.: "When a child was born, it was wrapped in a coarse cloth and laid in a veranda to sleep; and in a few hours the mother pursued her ordinary work in the field. The child suffered much; and if its mother did not furnish it nourishment enough, it must perish. Large holes were slit in the ear, and a stick, half an inch in diameter, thrust through. When five days old the child was carried to a stream of water, and either dipped or sprinkled, and a name given to it; and a priest mumbled a prayer, the purport of which was said to be an address to some unknown spirit, praying that he may so influence the child that he may become cruel, brave, warlike, troublesome, adulterous, murderous, a liar, a thief, disobedient-in a word, guilty of every crime. After this small pebbles, about the size of a pig's head, were thrust down its throat, to make its heart callous, hard, and incapable of pity. The ceremony was concluded with a feast." Marriage among the New Zealanders, previous to the introduction of Christianity, did not involve any special religious cerermonies. Before marriage, girls not betrothed were permitted to indulge in promiscuous intercourse if they pleased, and the more lovers they had the more highly they were esteemed. Married women, however, were kept under strict restraint, and infidelity was punished severely, often with death. Polygamy was permitted, but was not common, and men could divorce their wives by simply turning them out of doors.
The houses of the better class were snug and warm, ornamented with carved wood. They were built of bulrushes, and lined with the leaves of palm-trees neatly plaited together. They were about sixteen by ten feet, and four or five feet long. The entrance was by a low sliding door, and there was one window, four by six inches, with a sliding shutter. Their houses were without furniture, and their cooking utensils a few stones. Their villages were scattered over a large plot of ground, without any order of arrangement.
The language of the Maori, like the Polynesian languages generally, belongs to the Malay family, but it is by far the most complicated of them all. Its alphabet comprises only fourteen letters, viz. A, E, H, I, K, M, N, O, P, R, T, U, W, and Ng. Seven tolerably distinct dialects are spoken among them. The language is represented as rich and sonorous, well adapted for poetical expression, especially of the lyric kind. The Maori have an abundance of metrical proverbs, legends, and traditions, of which a collection has been made by Sir George Grey. They are also passionately attached to music and song.
History of the Country and its Civilization. — New Zealand was discovered by Tasman in 1642, but only one hundred years later it was made generally known to Europeans by the repeated visits of Cook. He surveyed the coasts in 1770. At that time domestic animals, potatoes, and cereals were introduced. In the following decades the visits of Europeans to New Zealand multiplied; whalers especially frequented the country for provisions and shelter. Runaway sailors, escaped convicts from New South Wales, and adventurers of all kinds, formed a sort of colony at Kororarika at the opening of our century. About this time, too, individual Englishmen began to settle on the coasts and intermarry with the natives, and acquire land in right of their wives or of purchase. Missionary enterprise began in 1814 by the zealous Marsden (q.v.), under the auspices of the London Church Missionary Society, soon strengthened by three other laborers, and favored by various chiefs, who made grants of land to the missions. The missionaries not only labored to convert the natives, but introduced improved culture among them, and did what they could to protect them from the injustice, fraud, and oppression of the Europeans who visited the islands or had acquired settlements. More effectually to secure this object, a British resident or consul was appointed in 1833, but without any authority. In the mean time a desultory colonization and the purchase of rights to land from the natives for a few hatchets or muskets were going on; and to put an end to this state of anarchy a lieutenant-governor was appointed, who, in 1840, concluded at Waitangi a treaty with the native chiefs, whereby the sovereignty of the islands was ceded to Britain, while the chiefs were guaranteed the full possession of their lands, forests, etc., so long as they desired to retain them: the right of pre-emption, however, was reserved for the crown, if they wished to alienate any portion. Thus New Zealand became a regular colony, the seat of government of which was fixed on the Bay of Waitemata, and called Auckland. The previous year an association, called the New Zealand Company, had made a pretended purchase of tracts amounting to a third of the whole islands, and for a dozen years most of the colonization of New Zealand was conducted under its auspices. The conduct of the company is considered to have been on the whole prejudicial to the prosperity of the colony; and after a long conflict with the government, they resigned, in 1852. all their claims — which the government had never confirmed — on condition of receiving £268,000 as compensation for their outlay. The unscrupulous way in which the company and others often took possession of lands which the natives believed themselves to have a right to, brought on, between 1843 and 1847, a series of perilous and bloody conflicts with those warlike tribes. But the result of this conflict was more gratifying than the most sanguine Christians had hoped for. An understanding was reached between native and colonizer, and cannibalism and superstition passed away, and in their stead the teachings of the Bible were made the ruling guide of the natives especially. One of the most desperate encounters was in 1863, when 15,000 soldiers, under English command, contended against 2000 natives, hiding and fighting behind ramparts. Another struggle followed in 1864, and petty rebellions have been frequent, causing great expense and trouble to the colonists, and great demoralization among the converted natives. As they learned to hate the colonists they came to hate their religion, and invented one of their own, called How-howism, those who professed it being called How-hows. It was a most absurd mixture of their old superstitions with some Bible tenets, and a virtual return to heathenism. One Te Kooti made himself famous fighting with a handful of followers against the English from 1866 to 1872, when the pursuit of him was virtually abandoned. Since that time the natives have been more quiet, and the colonists seem more disposed to try the effect of kind treatment and conciliation. By the constitution of 1872 the natives were made voters, and eligible to office. Four of them have been recently elected members of the lower house of the Legislature. A noted European traveler, who has recently been among the Maori tribes near Lake Taupo, in the central district of Northern New Zealand, sends a very interesting account of the How-hows in that quarter. These, though maintaining an independent attitude towards the colonial government ever once the last war left them unsubdued, have not testified any readiness to join their co-religionists to the north on the Waikato in the outrages which have lately raised the fear of fresh hostilities. According to his report How-howism has toned down from its first bloodthirsty extravagances into a quiet and respectable sort of monotheism. The How-hows have agreed to reject the New Testament in its entirety, but they have accepted the Old, and from their native translations of it erected what is, in fact, a Judaism of their own. They have even dropped the observance of the Sunday to take up that of the Jewish Sabbath; and, in fact, in all things conform to Jewish practice so far as their knowledge enables them to go. At the headquarters of the tribe, the Ureweras, who have a great knowledge of Scripture, morning and evening services are invariably recited daily. The services consist chiefly in chanting in chorus verses of the Psalms, and conclude with short extemporaneous prayers by one of the chiefs.
To show the rapid growth of Christianity in these islands, we give the following table, exhibiting the number of communicants in the eastern district, from the year 1840, when the Church consisteld entirely of natives who came from the Bay of Islands, principally as teachers:
1840..... 29 1841 .... 133 1842..... 451 1843 ....675 1844..... 946 1845..... 1484 1846 .....1668 1847..... 1960 1848..... 2054 1849.... 2893
Here we have illustrated the fact, seen in almost all missionary history, that while during the first years of a mission the results are scarcely perceptible and the prospects discouraging, yet, when the Gospel fairly gets a lodgment in the minds of a people, however desperate their case might seem, its progress will be rapid and powerful. After twenty years' labor in New Zealand the number of communicants reported was but 8, and they were all at one station; but here is an increase in ten years, in one district, from 29 to 2893!
Since the introduction of Christianity a great change has taken place. The natives have abandoned tattooing, and are now generally clothed like civilized men, and possess flocks, herds, furniture, houses, and cultivated lands. Cannibalism was crowded out, too, by Christianity, and, as Scherzer tells us, "any allusion to this revolting practice is very painful to the New Zealander, as reminding him of his low position in the scale of nations. Every time we endeavored to make any inquiry of the natives respecting this custom they withdrew with an ashamed look." Infanticide also, which prevailed largely among them in their days of heathenism, is now universally abolished, and the same is the case with slavery and polygamy. One half of the Maori adults can read and write, and two thirds of them belong to Christian churches. They generally practice agriculture, but will not work very hard. They are good sailors and fishermen, and indeed more than a hundred coasting vessels of a good size are now the property of natives. But from various causes, especially from the introduction of new diseases, their numbers are rapidly diminishing. In 1872 the number of the aborigines, formerly computed at 100,000, was less than 40,000, nearly all in the North Island.
Education has been liberally provided for. chiefly by the Church organizations, and there are good schools in all the towns. In some provinces state aid is given to both national and denominational schools; in others only to the national. A university has been established at Dunedin, and high schools exist in many of the towns. In 1872 there were in all 397 schools, 602 teachers, and 22,180 pupils. Among the religious denominations the Church of England has always taken the lead, having sent out the first missionary to the natives, the Rev. Samuel Marsden, in 1814. The first bishop, the Rev. G. A. Selwyn, was appointed in 1841. At the fifth general synod of the English Episcopal Church in New Zealand, which met at Dunedin in the early part of 1871, encouraging reports were presented of the progress of religion throughout the colony. In addition to the parochial work carried on among the colonists, it was stated that the number of native clergymen in connection with that Church was 14, while about 1000 persons were reported as communicants. There are now six bishops of that Church in the islands. The support of the churches comes from home grants, lands set apart for Church purposes, and voluntary contributions. The Wesleyans commenced missions in 1819, and now have 77 chapels, and a larger number of adherents among the natives than any other denomination. In the three districts into which the islands are divided the number of principal stations or circuits is 32, in connection with which 43 ordained ministers are employed, with 2587 members under their pastoral care, and 5000 children in the Sabbath and day schools. Several other religious bodies have been organized and are flourishing. The province of Otago was settled by Scotch Presbyterians, and they are numerous in that part of the islands. In the South Island the North German Missionary Society has sustained missionaries, and accomplished much in Christianizing the natives of those parts. The Roman Catholics, who began their work in 1837 under bishop Pompallier, have bishops at Auckland, Dunedin, and Wellington. They have succeeded in gathering a large number of adherents among the colonists, and some also among the natives.
See Wakefield, Adventures in New Zealand (Lond. 1845, 2 vols. 12mo); Polack (J. S.), Manners and Customs of New Zealanders (Lond. 1840, 2 vols. 12mo); id. New Zealand (Lond. 1838, 2 vols. 12mo); Power, Sketches in New Zealand (Lond. 1849); Thomson, The Story of New Zealand (Lond. 1859); Swainson, New Zealand and its Colonization (Lond. 1859); Taylor, The Past and Present of New Zealand (1868) Hochstetter, Neu Seeland (Stuttgard, 1836; Engl. transl. London, 1868); Trollope, Australia and New Zealand (Lond. 1873); Grundemann, Missions-Atlas, pt. iii, No. 3; The Missionary Worll, p. 65, 200, 533; Chambers, Cyclop. s.v.; The Amer. Cyclop. s.v.; Littell's Living Age, Nov. 20, 1852, art. iii; Blackwood's Magazine, 1870, pt. i, p. 228 sq.; Brit. Quar. Rev. April, 1873, p. 28 sq.; Jan. 1873, p. 126.