A history of the Chatham Islands.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
In writing a history of the Chatham Islands the actual story of white settlement seems to pale into insignificance beside that of the occupation by the Morioris and their subsequent displacement by the Maoris. The origin of the Moriori race is still a debated question and possibly it will never be solved for this unfortunate race is now extinct with the exception of one pure-blooded Moriori, who is now a very old man. The study of this race however, is still interesting and instructive and forms an excellent illustration of the influence of man's environment on his character and how detrimental is the effect of long isolation and lack of competition in obtaining a livelihood. The Maori invasion of 1835 and the maintainance of Maori prisoners at the island in 1865 form the connecting links with New Zealand history but for the most part though a part of the Dominion of New Zealand, the connection has been comparatively slight even in matter of administration. This study is an attempt to trace a connected historical account of the Chatham islands up to the present day - a work which has not been done before.