Events In History


Exploring New Zealand's interior


Pai Marire

  • Page 1 – Pai Mārire

    Pai Marire (goodness and peace) was one of several Maori Christian faiths to emerge in the 19th century. Like many others, it was closely tied to issues of land and politics

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  • Page 3 – The death of Carl Völkner

    The ritual killing by Pai Mārire followers of missionary Carl Völkner in 1865 shocked many people. The government used the event as a reason to take harsh action against Pai

A frontier of chaos?

  • Page 2 – Overview

    The experiences of the explorers Abel Tasman, James Cook and Marion du Fresne convinced many Europeans that New Zealand was a dangerous place.

  • Page 5 – Captain Stewart and the Elizabeth

    In 1830 Captain William Stewart of the brig Elizabeth made an arrangement with the Ngāti Toa leader Te Rauparaha to ferry a taua (war party) of 100 warriors from his base on

Taming the frontier

The death penalty


  • Clarke, George

    Lay missionary George Clarke reluctantly became "Chief Protector of Aborigines" in 1840, leading a department of sub-protectors whose role was to look after Maori interests.

  • Colenso, William

    Colenso arrived at the Bay of Islands as the Church Mission printer in December 1834. His achievements include printing the New Testamont in Māori and the Māori version of the Treaty of Waitangi.

  • Grace, Thomas Samuel

    Thomas Grace was a deacon of the Church Missionary society. He set up a mission station in Pūkawa, Taupō, but had to leave Pūkawa less than a decade later. He, along with Carl Völkner, were captured by Pai Mārire members, but Grace was released unharmed while Völkner was killed.

  • Marsden, Samuel

    Reverand Samuel Marsden was the driving force behind the establishment of Anglican mission stations in New Zealand.

  • Selwyn, George Augustus

    Bishop of New Zealand George Selwyn became fluent in the Maori language and became and advocate for Maori land rights.

  • Taylor, Richard

    Anglican priest Richard Taylor had a great influence on Māori in the Whanganui region, and by the early 1850s as many as two-thirds of the Māori population in his district.

  • Williams, Henry

    Henry Williams was a missionary who supported British annexation. He believed that Maori should be protected from lawless Europeans and fraudulent dealings. He and his son Edward translated the Treaty of Waitangi into Maori.

  • Pompallier, Jean Baptiste Francois

    A French bishop living amongst hostile British settlers in New Zealand, Pompallier was sympathetic to Māori concerns, and for his time had an enlightened view towards Māori. 

  • Völkner, Carl Sylvius

    On 2 March 1865 Carl Völkner, a German-born missionary, was hanged from a willow tree near his church at Opotiki. His death was attributed to the followers of a new religion, Pai Marire, who suspected Völkner of spying for the government.

  • Te Ua Haumēne

    In 1862 Te Ua Haumēne established a new religion, Hauhau based on the principle of pai marire – goodness and peace. Most settlers viewed Hauhau as a anti-European religion that became synonymous with ‘violence, fanaticism and barbarism’.

  • Aubert, Mary Joseph

    Suzanne Aubert – later Mary Joseph Aubert – was a Catholic nun, nurse, teacher and pioneering social worker, who sometimes had to battle church and government authorities in order to help those in need.

  • Kendall, Thomas

    Thomas Kendall was one of New Zealand’s first Christian missionaries. He pioneered the transcription of the Māori language, and also investigated how Māori understood the universe.

  • Williams, William

    An early missionary and linguist, William Williams later came to criticise the government's dealings during the New Zealand Wars.