Colonisation/immigration to Aotearoa and the NZ Wars

1841 painting of Lambton Harbour by Charles Heaphy showing settlement buildings, ships in the harbour, and Māori and early settlers on a hill overlooking the harbour

'Part of Lambton Harbour, in Port Nicholson, New Zealand; comprehending about one third of the water frontage of the town of Wellington, April, 1841' by Charles Heaphy. Ref: C-026-001-b Alexander Turnbull Library. Some rights reserved.

Here are curated teaching and learning resources related to themes about the colonisation of, and immigration to, Aotearoa New Zealand, including the New Zealand Wars.

Topic Explorer sets

These sets contain quality, curated resources — websites, images, videos, books, and more — to support and inspire inquiry. Each topic features a carefully selected set of national and international resources from trustworthy and reliable, national and international sources (e.g. Alexander Turnbull Library, Te Ara, National Geographic, and the BBC).

The following topic sets relate to the colonisation of, and immigration to, Aotearoa New Zealand, including the New Zealand Wars:

He Tohu activities and resources

He Tohu is a permanent exhibition of 3 iconic constitutional documents that shape Aotearoa New Zealand:

The following activities and resources will inspire students to understand stories and actions from the past.

Learning activities

Videos

Land ownership (YouTube video, 2:09) — see major Crown acquisitions since 1840, including confiscations after the New Zealand Wars and the peak Native Land Court era.

Kōrero videos — hear discussions about the history of He Tohu documents, what they mean today, and visions for the future:

Curiosity cards

Curiosity cards use images and fertile questions to spark student inquiry about Aotearoa New Zealand.

Curiosity cards that relate to the colonisation of, and immigration to, Aotearoa New Zealand, including the New Zealand Wars include:

Many Answers and AnyQuestions

Many Answers entries are designed to guide students to reliable and trustworthy websites. The following entries will help them find information on the colonisation of, and immigration to, Aotearoa New Zealand, including the New Zealand Wars:

AnyQuestions

AnyQuestions offers free online help for all New Zealand school students from 1pm to 6pm weekdays during the school year.

Students can log in to the website and chat with librarians who are specially trained to help them find answers to questions related to topics such as New Zealand history. Librarians develop students' ability to source and critically evaluate quality online information sources. Teachers can also book classroom sessions.

Lending service for schools

Borrow books from our lending service. We have an extensive collection of picture books, fiction, and non-fiction to support and expand student inquiry into the colonisation of, and immigration to, Aotearoa New Zealand, including the New Zealand Wars.

Some popular titles related to this topic include:

  • ‘Kimble Bent, Malcontent: The Wild Adventures of a Runaway Soldier in Old-Time New Zealand: A Graphic Novel’ by Chris Grosz, 2011.
  • ‘Pakeha Settlements in a Maori World: New Zealand Archaeology 1769–1860’ by Ian Smith, 2019.
  • ‘The People and the Land / Te Tangata Me Te Whenua: An Illustrated History of New Zealand, 1820–1920’ by Judith Binney, Judith Bassett, and Erik Olssen, 2018.
  • ‘Pioneer Women’ edited by Sarah Ell, 2019.
  • ‘A Short History of New Zealand Wars’ by Gordon McLauchlan, 2017.
  • ‘Sleeps Standing Moetū’ by Witi Ihimaera with Hēmi Kelly, 2017.
  • ‘The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800–2000’ by Vincent O’Malley, 2016.
  • ‘The New Zealand Wars’ by Philippa Werry, 2018.
  • ‘The New Zealand Wars / Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa’ by Vincent O’Malley, 2019.
  • ‘Taratoa and the Code of Conduct: A Story From the Battle of Gate Pā’ by Debbie McCauley, 2014.
  • ‘Wars in the Whitecloud: Wairau 1843’ by M.H. McKinley, 2016.

Other National Library tools and resources

The following tools and resources can also help you find resources to capture student interest and build their understanding of Aotearoa New Zealand history.

EPIC — gives your school access to thousands of electronic resources, including magazines, journals, newspapers, biographies, reference works, images, eBooks, and multimedia. Note you may require a school login. Some EPIC resources invaluable for Aotearoa New Zealand history studies include:

DigitalNZ — find, curate, and share content from New Zealand libraries, museums, galleries, media, and more. Content includes historic and contemporary items such as photographs, paintings, posters, and videos.

Papers Past — search and browse digitised New Zealand historical newspapers (including some in te reo Māori), magazines, journals, letters, diaries, and parliamentary papers.

INNZ — Index New Zealand is a searchable database that contains abstracts and descriptions of articles from New Zealand magazines and newspapers published from the 1950s to the present day.

Primary sources — how to use them — primary sources are original, firsthand, often unedited records of an event. They are a powerful teaching and learning tool. Find out where to find quality, trusted primary sources, and how to use them effectively.

Archives New Zealand

These albums from Archives New Zealand's Flickr account contain digitised records and photos about colonisation of, and immigration to, Aotearoa New Zealand, including the New Zealand Wars: