3.2) Our days in Auckland

13.09.2021, 10:00

To keep it short, we arrived in Auckland.  

By our arrival in Auckland, Rui said to follow him. As we were old friends, he helped us find an affordable house to live in. There was a family that had some free rooms as their children have moved away, so we took advantage. Later that day, we went to a restaurant and talked about our plans for the next days in Auckland. 

The restaurant was called Amano and we tried some delicious dishes. Rick and I ordered a medium-well steak with garlic potatoes, Mina wanted some tagliatelle and gelato, and Rui, a slow-roasted lamb shoulder.  

Nothing special happened that evening so let’s jump to the next day. 

We wake up at 9 o’clock, got dressed, had breakfast, and headed to the Auckland Museum. The entrance was 28 dollars. From the outside, the museum looked absolutely phenomenal. It was a great building made of white rock that had seven huge columns on the entrance.  

As we walked into the history department, we learned a lot about New Zealand history.

Here is the short story of the most eastern country: 

From around 800 – 1000 AC Polynesian people settled in New Zealand. They sailed all the way from islands from the Pacific Ocean to the Maoriland and established there a pretty stable and organised culture – the Māori culture. We then found out that the first European sailor that visited the island was the Dutchman Abel Tasman. He also was the one that named the land Staten Land. Later Dutch cartographers renamed it Nova Zealandia. After 130 years the English explorer James Cook began the colonisation of New Zealand. Missionaries, whalers, politicians, and traders began travelling to the newly discovered land.  

Finally, in 1840 the British formally annexed New Zealand to the Great Britain empire and formed the first European settlement in Wellington. With the colonisation, the Māori people got European diseases and the population suffered a lot. Generally, the Māori were under a lot of pressure. They had to sell their land to the new settlers, there were wars, but luckily now the Māori are highly prevalent in the New Zealand society. There are 14% of them in the country. The culture is the second biggest ethnic population group in the world. In our opinion that’s great, meaning they aren’t so suppressed.  

As the Māori are a minority in New Zealand they still are treated differently. From Rui’s words and the history of New Zealand the situation is better now, but still not perfect. Many say that on paper, Māori have the same rights as the rest of the population, but what comes to real life, it’s more complicated. The Māori are more likely to be among the poorest in the country, the educational system has low expectations from native kids and the police is more likely to stop and interrogate a Māori than a white person. There are some disadvantages to being a Māori, but nowadays you can meet some people that do not complain.  

From my experience (talking to several people and reading others’ opinions online) I can say that it depends from person to person. Most Māori are proud of being the descendants of great warriors and know what tribe they come from and their history. In schools, they can learn and study their own language. They can get paid the unemployment benefits and can get the same old-aged pension as other people. In schools and other institutions, their culture and values are discussed so they don’t feel completely separated. 

So, it’s a tough theme and enough with the negative! Tomorrow we are going to see a rugby match and for the first time watch the All Blacks performing. New Zealand will compete with Australia!!!

Rick will tell you about that tomorrow.  


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