In Orakei, Auckland, New Zealand, there is a coastal piece of land that overlooks Waitemata Harbour called Takaparawhau in Māori and Bastion Point in English. Before the colonization of the land by the British Crown, it provided shelter, rich fishing and farming areas for the Ngāti Whātua people, a Māori iwi (tribe).
Along the Whanganui River, which flows through the North Island of New Zealand, lies a contested piece of land that indigenous Māori call Pakaitore. The government calls this same land Moutoa Gardens, a public park they created in memorial to those who died in the Battle of Moutoa Island in 1864.
During World War I, the New Zealand government seized burial grounds and traditionally valuable land from the Tainui Awhiro people to build an air base and bunker. Ten years after the end of the war, in 1928, the Public Works Act codified the government’s justification for keeping the land.
Waiheke Island, New Zealand residents protest the construction of two buildings on a historic burial site, 2012
On 1 October 2012, residents of Waiheke Island, New Zealand, protested against the installation of two pre-constructed buildings in Wharetana Bay, a historic site over 170 years old that is home to a Maori burial ground. This burial ground makes the bay a site of both archaeological and cultural importance.
The Taranaki region of present day New Zealand spreads from the central plateau of the North Island to the western coast. The Maori people, indigenous to the region, once inhabited it and the surrounding areas. By 1860, New Zealand had been a colony of Britain for nearly 20 years and land conflicts were common as growing European settlements encroached onto Maori land; British representatives were determined to assert their authority over the whole country.