First encounters and early colonial history of Aotearoa NZ

Soldier asleep in a whare, being watched over by a Maori woman

'Soldier Asleep in a Whare, Being Watched Over by a Maori Woman' by D.S. Ref: A-113-034 Alexander Turnbull Library. Some rights reserved.

Here are curated teaching and learning resources related to themes about first encounters and early colonial history of Aotearoa New Zealand.

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 first encounters and early colonial history of Aotearoa New Zealand:

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

He whenua rangatira — a Māori land (YouTube video, 4:10) — see the history of Māori arrivals from 1200, European arrivals from 1642, and the signing of He Whakaputanga from 1835 to 1839.

Kōrero videos — filter the videos by the '1835 He Whakaputanga' document to hear discussions about its history, what this document means 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 first encounters and early colonial history of Aotearoa New Zealand 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 first encounters and early colonial history of Aotearoa New Zealand:

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

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 first encounters and early colonial history of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Some popular titles related to this topic include:

  • ‘Abel Tasman: Mapping the Southern Lands’ by Maria Gill, 2017.
  • ‘The Adventures of Tupaia’ by Meredith, Courtney Sina, and Mat Tait, 2019.
  • ‘Beyond the Imperial Frontier: The Contest for Colonial New Zealand’ by Vincent O’Malley, 2014.
  • ‘The Coming of the Pākehā’ by John Lockyer, 2008.
  • ‘Cook’s Cook: The Cook Who Cooked for Captain Cook’ by Gavin Bishop, 2018.
  • ‘Explore! Aotearoa’ by Bronwen Wall, 2017.
  • ‘Face to Face: Two Cultures Meet in Aotearoa’ by Terri Kessell, 2009.
  • ‘Horeta and the Waka’ by Gordon Campbell, 2007.
  • ‘The House That Jack Built’ by Gavin Bishop, 2012.
  • ‘The Musket Wars: A History of Inter-iwi Conflict, 1806–1845’ by R.D. Crosby, 2017.
  • ‘Pakeha Settlements in a Maori World: New Zealand Archaeology 1769–1860’ by Ian Smith, 2019.
  • ‘Tangata Whenua – Face to Face: Two Cultures Meet in Aotearoa’ by Terri Kessell, 2009.
  • ‘Te Pakiwaitara O Cape Kidnappers / The Story of Cape Kidnappers’ Re-told by Patrick Sherratt With Te Mata Kindergarten, 2013.

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 free access to thousands of online resources, including magazines, journals, newspapers, biographies, reference works, images, eBooks, and multimedia. Note that you may need 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 first encounters and early colonial history of Aotearoa New Zealand: