Christianity in New Zealand

Settler influence and the Maori reaction In New Zealand, more than elsewhere in the Pacific, missionary beginnings had to contend with the impact of European migration. The Maori missionary church from 1840 was increasingly alienated by the pressures brought by the settler society and its denominations. Selwyn attempted to provide Anglican episcopal oversight for both the Maori and colonial churches. The settler demand for land and Maori defence of their independence resulted in skirmishes in the 1840s, and in the 1860s a decade of war.

In the central North Island, in particular, the Maori rejection of missionary Christianity was seen in the emergence of indigenous movements combining traditional cultural elements andbeliefs withbiblical texts. Te Ua Haumene and Pai Marire or the Hauhau of the 1860s were dismissed with little understanding by many Pakeha (Europeans) as fanatical. Te Kooti was both a notable leader in guerrilla warfare at the end of the 1860s and the founder of what became the Ringatu church, which combined Maori and Christian values. Te Whiti and Tohu, based at Parihaka in Taranaki, from the 1870s used non-violent protest as a way of defending their land. Although arrested by the colonial government, they were not suppressed. Rua Kenana at the beginning of the twentieth century sought to give hope to his own people suffering from economic hardship and health problems, but he was unfairly imprisoned in 1915. Kingitanga, or the King movement, with both political and religious dimensions from 1858, united many Maori in the central North Island under the leadership ofa Maori king. Much of the movement's inspiration came from the leadership of the notable Maori Christian chief Wiremu Tamihana Tarapipipi.

The Maori population reached its nadir in the 1890s. While independent Maori movements with their combined political and religious dimensions were important in providing leadership within the Maori world, Maori from the 1890s began embracing both the Pakeha and their own worlds as ways of promoting Maori cultural rejuvenation. Church schools for Maori were

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