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A Maori movement in New Zealand intended to unify the Maori under an hereditary kingship and restrain individual chiefs from selling land. In 1858, under the guidance of Wiremu Tamihana (the king-maker), Potatau, the first king, was recognized by tribes of central North Island. The Kingitanga sought to establish and enforce its own laws, but its more moderate leaders, including Tamihana, were willing to contemplate a defined authority under the British crown. Governor George Grey was disinclined to recognize a movement which would hinder British authority and settlement. Independent-minded members of the Kingitanga such as Rewi Maniapoto became involved in the Taranaki war and gave Grey grounds for invading the Waikato in 1863. Even so, for many years, government authority did not run in ‘the King Country’. In 1883, the King Country chiefs admitted settlement and King Tawhiao returned to his traditional land in lower Waikato. In the 20th century, largely under the influence of Te Puea, Tawhiao's niece, the Kingitanga came to terms with government and became a focus for economic and cultural revival.

Subjects: World History.

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