Classroom ideas- Pai Marire and Maori leadership in the 19th century

This page suggests how the feature on Pai Marire could be used by teachers and students of history who are examining 19th century Maori leadership. Additional material on NZHistory.net.nz to support a study of Maori leadership includes:

  • The origins of the King movement This feature examines why some Maori felt the need to create a movement aimed at uniting iwi and it describes the process of selecting the first king.
  • Troubled times: the Maori King movement 1860-94 This feature examines the British decision to invade the Waikato and the King movement's response to this action.
  • Pre-1840 contact. This looks at relations between Maori and Europeans in the years before the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. It provides useful background information to the British colonisation of New Zealand.
  • New Zealand's 19th-century wars considers some of the consequences of British colonisation.   

Students will find these summaries will assist them with revision.

Pai Marire

Pai Marire (goodness and peace) was a religion founded by Te Ua Haumene of Taranaki. It grew out of the conflict over land in Taranaki and was the first organised expression of an independent Maori Christianity. Some of its disciples turned to violence, and civil wars broke out as some iwi resisted its spread. Armed conflict with Europeans also erupted.

NCEA Level 2 history

The feature on Maori leadership can be used to explore the theme of 'Imperialism, indigenous peoples and the emergence of new nations' and its associated topic of 'Maori leadership in the 19th century'. The lives of people in New Zealand in the 19th century, especially Maori, were greatly influenced by a number of major forces including:

  • nationalism
  • imperialism
  • colonisation
  • religion
  • racism
  • war
  • colonialism
  • sovereignty.

In responding to these forces new movements and forms of leadership emerged. Pai Marire was one such example of this new leadership.

This material provides students with a context for:

  • Achievement standard 2.5: Examine how a force or movement in a historical setting influenced people's lives, in an essay.

For more detail on specific activities relating to this topic go to Maori leadership in the 19th century activities – NCEA Level 2 history.

NCEA Level 3 history

The spread of Pai Marire and the armed resistance to this religious movement represented another Maori response to European colonisation. It highlighted some of the significant internal struggles within Maori society at this time. In terms of Maori leadership in a period of great change, this is a critical part of the broad survey of 19th-century New Zealand.

This material provides students with a context for:

  • Achievement standard 3.4: Examine a significant decision made by people in history, in an essay.
  • Achievement standard 3.5: Examine a significant historical situation in the context of change, in an essay.
For more detail on specific activities relating to this topic go to Maori leadership in the 19th century activities – NCEA Level 3 history.

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