One hundred years pass by before the next Europeans arrive. In 1769 James Cook, British explorer, and Jean François Marie de Surville, commander of a French trading ship, both arrive by coincidence in New Zealand waters at the same time. Neither ship ever sights the other.
From the late 1790's on, whalers, traders and missionaries arrive, establishing settlements mainly along the far northern coast of New Zealand.
Wars and conflicts between Māori (indigenous people of New Zealand) tribes were always constant, and weapons used until now were spears or clubs. The arrival of traders leads to a flourishing musket trade with local Māori, who rapidly foresee the advantages of overcoming enemy tribes with this deadly new weapon. The devastating period known as the inter tribal Musket Wars commences.
Rumours of French plans for the colonisation of the South Island help hasten British action to annexe, and then colonise New Zealand. A number of Māori chiefs sign a Treaty with the British on 6th February 1840, to be known as the Treaty of Waitangi. The subsequent influx of European settlers leads to the turbulent period of the New Zealand Wars, also known as the Land Wars, which last for over twenty years.
Hostilities between Māori and European commence in 1845. By 1870 the British government withdraws the last of its Imperial Troops from New Zealand, not wishing to invest any further in a costly overseas war which was likely to continue indefinitely.
The Māori, although inferior in number, proves a formidable foe.
The battle of Gate Pa is possibly the battle which made the greatest impact in the history of The New Zealand Wars.