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The descendants of these settlers became known as the Māori, forming a distinct culture of their own.
The separate settlement of the tiny Chatham Islands in the east of New Zealand about 1500 CE produced the Moriori; linguistic evidence indicates that the Moriori were mainland Māori who ventured eastward.
In 1984, the Fourth Labour Government was elected amid a constitutional and economic crisis.
Genetic and archaeological evidence suggests that humans emigrated from Taiwan to Melanesia and then travelled east through to the Society Islands; after a pause of 70 to 265 years, a new wave of exploration led to the discovery and settlement of New Zealand.
Previous dating of some Kiore (Polynesian rat) bones at 50 – 150 CE has now been shown to have been unreliable; new samples of bone (and now also of unequivocally rat-gnawed woody seed cases) match the 1280 CE date of the earliest archaeological sites and the beginning of sustained, anthropogenic deforestation.
In 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the British Crown and various Māori chiefs, bringing New Zealand into the British Empire and giving Māori the same rights as British subjects.
There was extensive British settlement throughout the rest of the century and into the early part of the next century.