Power of the musket
By the time Endeavour sailed into the safe harbour of Te Whanganui o Hei (Mercury Bay), James Cook knew full well to be very wary about the vastly superior technology his men already held in their hands in the form of the musket.
While acknowledging this extreme advantage, Cook would still summarise the natives of New Zealand as a “brave, open, warlike” people. They would call: “Haere mai (welcome) come ashore and we will kill you with our patoos!”
For Maori, whenever strangers arrived unexpectedly in peace, they would usually be greeted by the largest canoe…