Between the wars, New Zealand had fraught relations with its League of Nations mandate, Western Samoa. During the ensuing crisis of colonial rule indigenous New Zealanders (Maori) and Samoans united in new ways to challenge their common colonial ruler. This lecture looks at these new relationships through the friendship of Samoan nationalist leader Ta’isi O.F. Nelson and Maori politician Sir Maui Pomare. Together these men navigated the crisis of New Zealand’s colonial rule in Samoa, forged new and deep connections through a shared Polynesian heritage and shared resistance strategies of non-violence.
Dr. Patricia O'Brien specializes in colonial histories. Currently she is working on interwar histories of Australia's colonies of Papua and New Guinea and New Zealand’s colony of Samoa, in addition to a study of British colonialism, privateers and indigenous contact in the Caribbean. She is an Australian who has been at Georgetown since 2001 and was the JD Stout Fellow in New Zealand Studies at Victoria University Wellington in 2012.