700 Years ago, New Zealand was undiscovered and completely uninhabited by humans! What happened next is classic colonialism…
Polynesians discovered New Zealand 700 years ago and settled there. They developed a distinct Māori culture which is centered on family links and land. Before that, New Zealand was completely undiscovered and devoid of any human inhabitants. Abel Janszoon Tasman was the first European explorer to sight the country on 13 December 1642. After that, Captain James Cook reached New Zealand in October 1769 and he was the first European explorer to circumnavigate and map New Zealand.
The country was regularly visited by explorers, sailors, missionaries, traders and adventurers. New Zealand was brought into the British Empire in 1840 when the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the British Crown and the Māori chiefs. It gave Māori equal rights with British citizens. War came and it brought with it the imposition of a European economic and legal system. This led to most of New Zealand's land passing from Māori to European ownership, and the Māori people suddenly became impoverished.
The country still has strong but informal links to Britain. Many young New Zealanders travel to Britain because of favorable working visa arrangements with the UK. Britons are still the largest group of migrants to New Zealand. Immigration law favors fluent speakers of English. One constitutional link to Britain remains — New Zealand's head of State, the Queen in Right of New Zealand, is a British resident!