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Māori in the 20th century 

Early in the 20th century, most Maori lived in poor rural communities. European diseases, war, land confiscations, and discrimination had wreaked havoc on the population.

But like the shark, who won’t give up without a struggle, Maori fought for their rights under the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand’s founding document.

After World War II, many Maori began moving to cities. By the century’s end, their population had recovered and their cultural revival was well underway.

Māori leadership and equalityUrban MāoriMāori land rights

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Find out about 20th century items in Te Papa's collections.


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Can you survive in the early 20th century, identify famous New Zealanders, and guess which decade you're in?

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The stories of the 20th century could be told through images alone.

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