It is a curious fact that there are many part-Maoris today (though certainly not all) who have remarkably good memories about their alleged sufferings since 1840 but completely blank minds about what happened to them any earlier. It is not hard to work out why this should be but more helpful perhaps to assist them in remembering a bit more about their earlier days.
When Europeans first arrived in New Zealand, Maoris were an aggressive warrior race, ready to attack for the slightest reason, as Tasman found out quickly to his cost.
This happened again when, just over a couple of years after Captain Cook, Marion du Fresne arrived off our shores. While fishing innocently in calm waters, as he thought, he broke a tapu unknown to him and his fate was sealed. He and 26 of his crew were massacred and eaten forthwith. As Lieutenant Roux, one of Marion's officers, noted in his diary, the chiefs "declare war upon the slightest pretext, which wars are very bloody; they generally kill any prisoners they may capture".
Not content with dispatching Marion, about 1500 tribesmen assembled to attack the hospital the French had set up on Moturua Island. Greatly out-numbered, the French defended themselves valiantly, using their firearms of course, and, with no further losses, killed about 250 of the attackers including many chiefs who were very conspicuous amongst them.
From this episode, the tribes quickly learnt two lessons. The first was an enduring mortal fear of the "tribe of Marion", confirmed ninety years later by Rev. John Warren. It was one reason of many chiefs for signing the Treaty of Waitangi though to terminate the carnage of the Musket Wars which followed was another.
The second lesson was of the vast superiority of European firearms over their traditional weapons, so that bargaining for firearms with visiting ships became a highly important activity. The culmination was Hongi Hika's return from a visit to England with several hundred muskets, many exchanged in Sydney for gifts he had received, and soon followed by the most intense slaughter of the so-called Musket Wars amongst the tribes.
Hongi's party returning from England reached the Bay of Islands on 11 July 1821 and, shortly afterwards, he began to prepare for his campaign. On 5 September, 2000 Ngapuhi, armed with 1000 muskets, laid siege to Mauinaina pa at Tamaki. It was taken with great slaughter – Te Hinaki and 2000 of his men, as well as many women and children, being killed. The victorious force remained on the battlefield eating the vanquished until they were driven off by the smell of decaying bodies. It has been noted that "deaths in this one action during the inter-tribal Musket Wars outnumber all deaths in 25 years of the sporadic New Zealand Wars."
 Tu-mata-kokiri who confronted Tasman in turn got their comeuppance, being exterminated by Ngai Tahu and Ngatiapa, the last battle being in the Paparoas about 1800.
 For a good account of this episode, read Ian Wishart's "The Great Divide", 2012, ISBN 978-0-9876573-6-7.
 See T.L.Buick, "The Treaty of Waitangi", 1914
 Many of the details in this account are taken from "The Encyclopedia of New Zealand" and other sources, easily obtained by "googling". Much is summarised by Pember Reeves in "The Long White Cloud, 1898, republished as ISBN 0-85558-293-6