Most outsiders think that New Zealand’s indigenous people are well integrated into a liberal state. But the arrest of an alleged terrorist cell has put the focus on the injustices suffered by the Maori. Jon Henley reports
Tuesday November 6, 2007
The Maori activist Tame Iti. Photograph: Reuters
Henry Williams (b February 11 1782, Nottingham, d July 16 1867, Pakaraka, Bay of Islands) is as good a place to start as any. A rotund, bespectacled and doubtless well-intentioned former navy man, the Rev Williams was a missionary who had been busy winning antipodean souls for Jesus since 1822. By February 1840, when the first lieutenant-governor of what would very soon become Britain’s newest colony landed in New Zealand, Williams was leader of the Church of England’s mission there. He must have seemed like just the man to translate a landmark treaty between the Crown and the Maori chiefs.