Stereotypes of Maoris held by Europeans : a study based on four newspapers of the Liberal period : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in History at Massey University
The following study of the stereotyped attitudes and images which pakehas had of Maoris is based almost exclusively on newspapers within the Liberal period. That point should be made from the outset, It is relevant to note that surveys along somewhat similar lines have been conducted into the poetry and prose fiction of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. W. H. Pearson is an important name in this respect. He has reviewed the various racial characteristics and personality traits which have been attributed to Maoris by white New Zealanders – or at least by a small minority of them, namely pakeha novelists and short story writers. He has concluded that pakeha attitudes to Maoris can be broadly classed either as hostile or as patronizing.
W. H. Pearson, 'Attitudes to the Maori in some Pakeha Fiction', Journal of the Polynesian Society, vol. 67, No. 3, September 1958, p. 213. At worst the pakeha is something of a racist – the European has every right to occupy the land of uncivilized heathens and the sooner the Maoris die out the better. At best the pakeha attitude is one of indulgence and paternalism – the Maori is 'really' only a child and must be tolerated and humoured.