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Maori and Pakeha at Te Aroha: the context: 1: Pakeha perceptions of Maori

Interaction between Maori and Pakeha was unavoidable in the nineteenth century. Although Maori were commonly considered to be superior to other uncivilized races, in general the stereotyping of Maori was more negative than positive, for it was assumed that they needed to be raised to the level of Pakeha. Maori were seen as being capable of high achievements, but only if they abandoned their feckless and lazy ways along with their customs and superstitions; instead, they should adopt the best of Western civilization rather than the worst, as was believed to be all too common. Being somewhat child-like, they needing Pakeha guidance to attain their potential. An underlying fear remained that they were potentially dangerous, with their old savage ways lurking under the veneer of adopting European clothes and some European customs. Sometimes they were viewed as having too much influence on government policy, partly through the legacy of the Treaty of Waitangi and partly through the machinations of Pakeha Maori. Increasingly, as the often-admired ‘old time’ rangatira, died, the newer generation of lower class Maori were patronized or mocked for their poor English and assumed stupidity. Yet always there were some Pakeha who had good relations with Maori, meaning that intermarriage was neither unusual nor (openly at least) condemned.
Working Paper
Type of thesis
Te Aroha Mining District Working Papers
Hart, P. (2016). Maori and Pakeha at Te Aroha: the context: 1: Pakeha perceptions of Maori. (Te Aroha Mining District Working papers, No. 10), Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato, Historical Research Unit.
Historical Research Unit, University of Waikato
© 2016 Philip Hart