We learn that a Taranaki tribe, fighting to keep possession of Moriori land, is calling its victims “conquered and subjugated,” as well it might. Nevertheless, it does no harm to look at the process by which this occurred.
It is carefully related by the late Michael King in Moriori: A people rediscovered, (Viking, 1989) and may be described accurately as one of the most extreme examples of genocide in recorded history.
Ritual cannibalism on an overwhelming scale with brutal enslavement of the few survivors make it a holocaust on a level with anything perpetrated by Nazi Germany. That it was perpetrated on a people who truly practised peace and pacifism make its mockery by subsequent Taranaki tribesmen in their nasty cult at Parihaka into what must be one of the bitterest ironies of all times.
As King reports (p.66): “For the Maori participants ... this ... was simply tikanga . ... As Rakatau noted with some satisfaction in the Native Land Court in 1879,