"The Originals" : the 1888-89 New Zealand native football team in Britain, Australia and New Zealand.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This thesis operates on two levels. Firstly, it is an account of the ongInS, composition and experiences of the predominantly Maori New Zealand Native football team in Britain, Australia and New Zealand during 1888-89. Secondly, it uses the main themes and incidents of the tour as a basis to examine some aspects of the interaction between race, class, imperialism and sport during the late nineteenth century - both within Britain and in her colonies. Patterns emerge which question existing interpretations as to the diffusion and strength of an elite British ethos which linked sport to higher social and political ideals and to the maintenance of imperial objectives. The thesis IS divided into SIX chapters. The first two trace the composition of the team, motives for the tour and initial responses to it in New Zealand. The wider focus is on a set of colonial aspirations which saw the tour as having an important bearing, positive or otherwise, on British perception of the fledgling New Zealand colony. Points are also raised concermng the relationship between Maori and European in this process. Chapters three, four and five, covering the tour of Britain, are primarily based around a dichotomy between elite and working class interests which is revealed in contrasting responses to a predominantly Maori team and to its behaviour both on and off the sports field. An assessment is made of the suspect motives of those who controlled and financed the tour, and comparisons are also made with the 1868 Aboriginal cricket team to Britain. The final chapter and Conclusion challenge standard interpretations of the Native team and consider its wider value as an indicator of new perspectives on the study of sports history. Research is based very largely on newspaper sources. More than seventy publications, both metropolitan and provincial, have been consulted in Britain, Australia and New Zealand.