Maori Tribal Warfare

The Maori population in 1800 was probably somewhat more than 200,000. Generally the natives did not resent the settlers. In 1814 Samuel Marsden, the Anglican chaplain of New South Wales, founded a mission at Bay of Islands, and the missionaries were accepted as friends by the Maoris. Muskets were a favorite trade item for which the Maoris exchanged their flax and timber. The coastal tribes, who obtained firearms first, used them freely against enemy tribes. As each tribe acquired muskets, the tribal wars became more deadly. By 1840 the Maori population had fallen to about 100,000.

Important dates in New Zealand (before 1840)
A.D. 1200 Polynesian settlers arrived in New Zealand.
1642 Abel Janszoon Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand.
1769 The British navigator and captain James Cook circumnavigated (sailed around) New Zealand.
1772 The French explorer Marion du Fresne was killed at Bay of Islands.
1791 Sealing and whaling began off the New Zealand coast, followed by trade in flax and timber.
1814 The chaplain at the Australian colony, Samuel Marsden, established an Anglican mission at Bay of Islands.
1835 A group of Maori chiefs called the Confederation of Chiefs of the United Tribes of New Zealand signed the Declaration of Independence.
1837 The British colonial theorist Edward Gibbon Wakefield formed the New Zealand Association to promote British colonization of the country.
1839 The New Zealand Association was reorganized and renamed the New Zealand Company.