Land and social change : aspects of the Maori case : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Social Anthropology at Massey University

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Massey University
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This thesis sets out to examine some aspects of change in a modern Maori society as a consequence of alterations in traditional land tenure and partly of acculturation. It is simply divided into eight chapters. Chapters one and two are introductory and present a brief account of the history of Maori/Pakeha relationship in land since 1840. Chapter one shows how European settlers come in contact with Maori people and their land, Maoris' reaction against their loss of tribal estate, Maori Land Court and its power over Maori land, and Maori land legislations up to the end of the 1940s. Chapter two, dating from early in the 1950s discloses some major government policies that lead to a drastic change in the tribal custom and deterioration of tribal authority in land and in the community. For a purpose of comparison, in chapters three and four I recon-struct the pre-European Maori society: its social structure, organization land tenure, exercising of leadership, administration, and recognition of descent and kinship. This will assist the explanation of change that I present in the following chapters. Chapters five and six provide another base for comparison, containing details of modern Maori society. Data in chapter five is based entirely on ethnographic accounts concerning Kotare, Orakei, and Waima Maori communities, whereas chapter six analyses the aspects of change and employs also evidence from other sources to support the assumptions stated in the outset. Chapter seven covers some events that counter-challenge the change described in chapters five and six. This shows, in general, the Maoris' attempt to put together some threads which would restore their traditional values and Maori identity. Unfortunately, little attempt has been made in the three communities referred to as 'models' of change and, as a result, they have tended to become disintegrated. The concluding chapter (Ch. 8) draws together the whole of the thesis. Using the land issue as a frame of reference, a general conclusion is reached in that a modern Maori community has changed at the expense of the traditional social, economic, and political systems.
Maori, Land tenure, Social conditions