New Zealand Colonial Propaganda: The Use of Cannibalism, Enslavement, Genocide and Myth to Legitimise Colonial Conquest

Andrew K. S. Piper


The eighteenth and nineteenth century European invasion of the Pacific led to many atrocities, but - as a separate 'internal' part of the progressive European conquest of Polynesia - none was more brutal or more devastating than the Maori invasion of the Chatham Islands and the subsequent slaughter of the unwarlike Moriori, the indigenous inhabitants of this small isolated island group. Curiously, and for far too long, has the so-called 'Moriori holocaust' been manipulated and incorporated into a founding legend that actually legitimises the subsequent British colonisation of New Zealand. It is a fabricated myth, and one that continues to influence modern race relations in that country.


Genocide; Cannibalism; Moriori; Maori; New Zealand; Polynesia; Chatham Islands;

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