Story: Pacific Islands and New Zealand

Mau insignia

Mau insignia

Two New Zealand sailors remove the Mau insignia, a white band, from the lavalavas of two Samoan men, in 1930. The Mau independence movement had precedents in small-scale protests against German colonial authority in 1904–5 and 1909, and was linked to disquiet amongst chiefs about the reshaping of the traditional order. Under New Zealand rule, the Fono of Faipule (a council of faipule, or district representatives, which acted as a bridge between a district and the government) acquired greater authority than it had had under German rule. Customary chiefs feared that this would eclipse their status. White traders also resented New Zealand rule, as the authorities made efforts to force up prices paid for Samoan produce. Traders backed a 1921 petition asking that Samoa be controlled by Britain.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, F. J. Gleeson Collection
Reference: PA1-0-795-17-4

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Jon Fraenkel, 'Pacific Islands and New Zealand - Samoa', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 31 July 2021)

Story by Jon Fraenkel, published 20 Jun 2012