It should be noted that of all native populations encountered, the Maori were considered most civilized by the (generally British) invaders, and so were given better treatment than most. The qualities most cited in the comparison were their eloquence (and emphasis on rhetoric), bravery, pride, and rigid heirarchy. The Maori were a warrior culture. (See the novel or movieOnce Were Warriors for perspective on how far that preferential treatment got them.)

However, this tribal invasion and violence is not a novel or freakish thing: it was just exascerbated and made more horrifying by the introduction of the western weaponry. Were it not for the respect the English had for the Maori, the English would have been the ones to massacre the Moriori in their own civilized way.

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