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The Meeting Place is an examination of relationships between Maori and Pakeha focusing predominantly on the period between 1814 and 1840 when, author Vincent O'Malley argues, both peoples lived / inhabited a 'middle ground' - in the historian's Richard White's phrase - in which neither could dictate the political, economic or cultural rules. O'Malley begins by introducing readers to pre-1814 encounters between Maori and European from Tasman and Cook to sealers and whalers. He then provides a thematic analysis of the 1814 to 1840 period, looking at economic, religious, political and sexual encounters as Maori and Pakeha sorted through the meanings of land, money, gods, leaders and sex. Finally, he looks at why and how the middle ground gave way to a world in which Pakeha had enough power to dictate terms. The Meeting Place draws on an impressive range of sources to offer a welcome addition to works concerning Maori-Pakeha interaction in the eighteent and early nineteenth centuries including those by Anne Salmond, James Belich, Judith Binney, Hazel Petrie, and others. It will appeal to the every general reader interested in New Zealand history but will also be useful for teaching. Its coverage of several major historical debates is likely to serve existing university courses throughout New Zealand as well as the senior secondary school curriculum.
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Table of Contents

Table of Contents -- Acknowledgements -- List of Abbreviations -- 1. Introduction -- 2. First Encounters -- 2.1 Becoming Maori, becoming Pakeha -- 2.2 Before the middle ground - Tasman and the time of mutual incomprehension -- 2.3 Cross-cultural travels: Cook, Banks and Tupaia in Aotearoa -- 2.4 The French connection: Jean-Francois Marie de Surville in Tai Tokerau -- 2.5 The tribe of Marion': Marion du Fresne's bloody encounter -- 3. Strangers Landing in Strange Lands -- 3.1 Kawana Kingi and the Norfolk Island connection -- 3.2 A native abroad: Savage and Moehanga -- 3.3 A tragic liaison: George Bruce and Atahoe -- 3.4 Deepsea whalers and Maori -- 3.5 Clashing cultures: the burning of the Boyd -- 3.6 A regal visit: Hongi Hika in London and the aftermath -- 3.7 Kupe's journe -- 4. On the Middle Ground: Maori and Pakeha, c. 1814-1840 -- 4.1 Importing missionaries: Ruatara and Marsden -- 4.2 The missionary challenge -- 4.3 Saving souls abroad: Tuai and Titere in England -- 4.4 Southern sealers and whalers -- 4.5 Middle New Zealand: early interactions in the Cook Strait region and further north -- 4.6 Jumping ship: further European settlement in the north -- 4.7 Learning to get along with one another: the nature of Maori and Pakeha relationships before 1840 -- 5. Trading Relationships: The Commercial Frontier -- 5.1 Commerce and gift exchange -- 5.2 Trade and agriculture -- 5.3 Selling services -- 5.4 New wants and needs -- 5.5 Ownership and use rights -- 5.6 'Tuku whenua' and land dealings -- 6. Sex on the Frontier -- 6.1 Sex and sailors -- 6.2 The sexual politics of the frontier -- 7. Subverting Conversion? Religious Encounters -- 7.1 Understanding Maori 'conversion' -- 7.2 A unique form of Christianity? -- 7.3 Tapu and other customs -- 8. The Political World of Aotearoa before 1840 -- 8.1 The evolving role of rangatira in the pre-Waitangi era -- 8.2 Taua muru -- 8.3 Runanga and komiti -- 8.4 A dying people? 9. The Impact of Cultural Encounter on the New Zealand Frontier -- 10. The End of the Middle Ground, c. 1840-1860 -- Notes -- Bibliography.

About the Author

Vincent O'Malley was the first PhD graduate in New Zealand Studies from Victoria University of Wellington. He is the author of Agents of Change: Maori Committees in the 19th Century, a co-author of The Beating Heart: A Political and Socio-Economic History of Te Arawa and a co-editor of The Treaty of Waitangi Companion (AUP, 2010). He runs HistoryWorks, a private Wellington-based company specialising in Treaty research and reports.

Reviews

"Indeed an ideal companion for students to the more standard treaty 'texts' and for the general reader with a genuine interest in the unique foundations of bi-cultural relations in Aotearoa New Zealand today." --Mana Magazine on The Treaty of Waitangi Companion

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