The repudiation movement : a study of the Maori land protest movement in Hawkes Bay in the 1870's : a thesis presented in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in History at Massey University.
The Repudiation Movement was a Maori land protest organization that aroused suspicion and fear in the minds of Europeans in Hawkes Bay in the 1870's. It was a movement that adopted European methods and institutions as its means for solving land grievances and was led by influential Chiefs and by some Europeans. This adoption of the movement by these Europeans led to much animosity and conflict and accentuated the polarization of European political factions at provincial and national level. Despite its evident uniqueness when compared with other Maori protest movements, the Repudiation Movement has yet to become the object of an historical analysis that poses the obvious questions - how and why? M.P.K. Sorrenson, M.D.N. Campbell and Alan Ward have mentioned it briefly in their historical studies of broader issues and have made a number of fairly general observations about its causes and methods. The only detailed study that has been aimed specifically at Maori land protest in Hawkes Bay is P.J. Coleman's M.A. thesis in 1949.(1) (1) P.J. Coleman, 'The Native Lands Act and Hawkes Bay: Some Considerations on the Alienation of Maori Land in the Provincial Period of Hawkes Bay Government', Unpublished M.A. Thesis, Victoria University, 1949. Coleman's work concentrated mainly on the period of the 1860's following the Native Land Act and examined in depth the Hawkes Bay Native Lands Alienation Commission of 1873 largely ignoring the protest after 1873. Coleman's analysis was somewhat restricted by his lack of sources and his undue reliance on the Hawkes Bay Herald which research has shown must be used with great caution as it was an instrument of propaganda against the movement.