This 1869 map of New Zealand’s North Island shows Māori iwi (tribal) boundaries, confiscated land, location of armed police and military bases, and where gold was found.
It’s fascinating in many ways, not least because it shows the staggering amount of land confiscated in the Waikato – more than 1.2 million acres. The confiscations were made under the New Zealand Settlements Act 1863.
The Crown created various laws in the 1860s to allow it to take land. The New Zealand Settlements Act 1863 allowed it to confiscate the land of North Island iwi deemed to have rebelled against the Crown. The Public Works Act 1864 let it take land for roads, railways, and other public works.
The Native Land Court, established in 1865 (and renamed the Māori Land Court in 1954), encouraged Māori to sell land to private buyers. But the Crown remained the biggest purchaser. It on-sold most of its Māori land, often for a profit.
By 1939, almost 100 years after the Treaty was signed, Māori retained just 1 percent of the South Island and 9 percent of the North Island. Land losses continued as the 20th century progressed, again supported by legislation.
New Scientist has published some beautiful maps exploring which are the remotest places on earth – given how much international transport we have available to us.
“The maps are based on a model which calculated how long it would take to travel to the nearest city of 50,000 or more people by land or water. The model combines information on terrain and access to road, rail and river networks. It also considers how factors like altitude, steepness of terrain and hold-ups like border crossings slow travel.
Plotted onto a map, the results throw up surprises. First, less than 10% of the world’s land is more than 48 hours of ground-based travel from the nearest city. What’s more, many areas considered remote and inaccessible are not as far from civilisation as you might think. In the Amazon, for example, extensive river networks and an increasing number of roads mean that only 20% of the land is more than two days from a city – around the same proportion as Canada’s Quebec province.