Deforestation and Colonization of Aotearoa/New Zealand

Māori land in Te Ika-a-Māui (the North Island), 1860–1939
Māori land in Te Ika-a-Māui (the North Island), 1860–1939
Forest cover of Aotearoa (New Zealand), 1840-present day.
Forest cover of Aotearoa (New Zealand), 1840-present day.

Similar to the United States and just about every other settler colony (see the US counterpart map – https://decolonialatlas.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/the-deforestation-and-colonization-of-the-united-states/ ) European settlers in Aotearoa (New Zealand) had to first remove the Māori from the land before they could begin to extract resources from it – in this case, timber. As Māori land holdings decreased since the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, so too did the forests of Aotearoa. This may have been a contributing factor in the extinction of dozens of endemic bird species since European colonization – the introduction of predatory mammals to Aotearoa being another large factor.

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