Encircled Lands

Encircled Lands

Te Urewera, 1820–1921

Out of print – digital edition now available

For Europeans during the nineteenth century, the Urewera was a remote wilderness; for those who lived there, it was a sheltering heartland. This history documents the first hundred years of the ‘Rohe Pōtae’ (the ‘encircled lands’ of the Urewera) following European contact.

After large areas of land were lost, the Urewera became for a brief period an autonomous district, governed by its own leaders. But in 1921–22, the Urewera District Native Reserve was abolished in law. Its very existence became largely forgotten – except in local memory.

Recovering this history from a wealth of contemporary documents, many written by Urewera leaders, Encircled Lands contextualises Tūhoe’s quest for a constitutional agreement that restores their authority in their lands.

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Table of contents

1. He Mana Tawhito – An Ancient Authority
2. The Land and its Leaders
3. Strange Men and Gods
4. The Coming of War, 1864–1866
5. Confiscation and Defence, 1866–1868
6. The Conflict Expands, 1867–1870
7. Peace Born of War, 1871–1872
8. Te Whitu Tekau (The Seventy), 1872–1878
9. The Ring of Fire, 1878–1891
10. The Rohe Potae and ‘The Small War’, 1891–1896
11. The Urewera District Native Reserve, 1896–1907 398
12. The Urewera Native Schools and the Famine, 1896–1909
13. The Governor and ‘Nga Rawa Kore’ – Two Narratives
14. The Struggle for Authority, 1906–1909
15. The First Land Sales, 1909–1912
16. The Law against the Prophet, 1911–1916
17. Legacies of the Past

Appendix 1 William Colenso’s Survey of the Urewera, 1843–1844
Appendix 2 C. Hunter Brown’s Urewera Survey, 1862
Appendix 3 Population of the Urewera, 1870–1907
Appendix 4 Elsdon Best’s List of the Urewera Hapu, Chiefs and Kainga, March 1896
Appendix 5 The Urewera District Native Reserve Act, 1896 632

Print publication:
Ebook publication: Dec 2018
Pages: 670
RRP: $89.99
ISBN: 9781877242441
ISTC: A022012000021121
DOI: 10.7810/9781877242441

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Read Alan Ward's review in New Zealand Books.

Listen to author Judith Binney speak to Kim Hill about Encircled Lands

'Judith Binney ... is a major figure in contemporary historiography' J.G.A. Pocock, London Review of Books

A 'massively impressive study of the first century or so of Urewera contact with Europeans ... Widely praised for its meticulously detailed content ... this majestic work of history.' Vincent O'Malley, Reviews in History

'[Encircled Lands] is arguably the most important book on Māori–Pākehā relations to be published in the last quarter-century, unlikely to be equalled in this generation.' Alan Ward, New Zealand Books, Winter 2010

'[Encircled Lands] takes the reader through Tuhoe trials and tribulations in a way which no other history book on Māori has ever achieved.' Wharehuia Milroy


NZ Post Book of the Year 2010