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They traded European food, metal tools, weapons and other goods for timber, Māori food, artefacts and water.In 1835, following an announcement of impending French settlement by Charles de Thierry, the nebulous United Tribes of New Zealand sent a Declaration of Independence to King William IV of the United Kingdom asking for protection.After a pause of 70 to 265 years, a new wave of exploration led to the discovery and settlement of New Zealand.Over the centuries that followed, these settlers developed a distinct culture now known as Māori.) is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island (Te Ika-a-Māui), and the South Island (Te Waipounamu)—and around 600 smaller islands.The official languages are English, Māori, and New Zealand Sign Language, with English being very dominant.
Following Cook, New Zealand was visited by numerous European and North American whaling, sealing and trading ships.In 1840, representatives of the United Kingdom and Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which declared British sovereignty over the islands.In 1841, New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire and in 1907 it became a dominion; it gained full statutory independence in 1947 and the British monarch remained the head of state.New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, ASEAN Plus Six, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Pacific Community and the Pacific Islands Forum.Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted New Zealand in 1642 and named it Staten Land "in honour of the States General" (Dutch parliament).
Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans.