Author(s): Ron Crosby
The major event which was to dominate the history of New Zealand in the summer of 1829/30 was the launching of a major assault by Te Rauparaha on the Marlborough Sounds iwi and the Ngai Tahu about Kaikoura. The raids on the Marlborough Sounds led to well-nigh total annihilation of the inhabitants of those districts, and the almost complete depopulation of the Sounds apart from members of the invading northern tribes. The Musket Wars records in graphic detail how the arrival of the musket and new food sources led to a wave of conflicts that engulfed most parts of New Zealand between 1806 and 1845, leaving tens of thousands of Maori killed, wounded or displaced. Entire districts were depopulated and tribal boundaries were redrawn. Yet to the victors went the spoils: the Treaty of Waitangi acknowledged tribal boundaries as they existed in 1840. The wars thus have ongoing relevance to the entire Waitangi Tribunal process, a fact that has not been sufficiently addressed by most claims. Ron Crosby has written an accurate and complete historical account that also brings to life the human drama of these brutal and unremitting wars. New to this paperback edition is a list of information sources relating to particular iwi. First published 1999.
'The Musket Wars must rate as one of the most accessible and well presented treatments of New Zealand history currently available.' Sir Tipene O'Regan, Dominion 'One of the must-reads of 1999.' Iain Sharp, Sunday Star-Times ''A necessary addition to all collections of New Zealand history.' Diana Masters, Waikato Daily Times ''Crosby's book is both intriguing and absorbing to the point of brilliance and gives new insights into both the ability of the Maori to adapt quickly and their impressive skills of innovation.' Jim Hunter, The Southland Times ''It represents an important compilation of material about a crucial period of New Zealand history which is often overlooked, yet which is of huge importance to Treaty of Waitangi claims.' Jim Eagles, Hawke's Bay Today ''Its lawyer author and Reed Publishing deserve some kind of recognition for this mighty effort which has greatly enriched our historical writing.' Tom Brooking, Otago Daily Times
Ron Crosby was born and brought up in Auckland, gained an honours degree in law from the University of Auckland, and has practised law in Blenheim for most of his professional life. He is currently a partner in the Marlborough legal firm Gascoigne Wicks. His interest in the Musket Wars was sparked by his wife, who is of Te Rarawa and Te Aupouri descent, and through his work in recent years on land and marine claims involving iwi of the northern South Island.