Year 8 - Lesson 4

Curriculum level:
Programme focus:
Why a Treaty?
Length of lesson:
45 – 90 minutes

Focus learning areas

  • European arrival after James Cook.
  • Missionaries and their role in New Zealand.

Achievement objectives

Students will gain knowledge, skills, and experience to:

  • Understand how exploration and innovation create opportunities and challenges for people, places, and environments.
  • Understand that events have causes and effects.

Learning outcomes

This programme will provide students with opportunities to:

  • Name the first two European explorers to come to New Zealand.
  • Confirm as a group what a missionary is.
  • Brainstorm ideas about the relationship between missionaries and Māori.

Suggested activities


Who were the first two European explorer’s to ‘discover’ New Zealand?

Discuss the differences in each of the explorers experience and why? (Negative for Tasman, positive for Cook.)

What do you think happened after James Cook’s successful voyages to New Zealand? (More people travelled here from other countries.)

The people who followed on from James Cook were explorers, missionaries, and traders.

What is a missionary?

Brainstorm this and ask children if they have met a missionary before.

Samuel Marsden

Introduce this man to the class. He was the first missionary to come to New Zealand.

The relationship between Māori and missionaries

Have a picture of Samuel Marsden and a picture of a Māori chief. Have the students work either individually, in groups, or as a class, and ask them to brainstorm the differences between the two, and what each could learn from/offer the other.

CD Rom/ Website

  • Why a Treaty?
  • Missionaries

Update New Zealand mural

Explain to the students that the missionaries needed somewhere to live and work.

How will this affect the mural you have drawn? (Make amends as needed – rub out more trees, draw in houses and churches.)

Supporting information

Information regarding Samuel Marsden and the missionary impact.āori-and-the-british/early-contact/āori-and-the-british/missionary-impact/