New Zealand was first called Aotearoa by the Maori who migrated from other northern islands in Polynesia, sometime around AD 1400. The first European to discover New Zealand was Abel Tasman in 1642. He named the south island after the Dutch province of Zeeland. The coast was explored by Capt. Cook in 1769. From about 1800 onwards, New Zealand became a resort for whalers and traders, chiefly from Australia. New Zealand’s European constitutional history can be traced back to 1840 when the Maori entered into an agreement with the Crown under the Treaty of Waitangi and New Zealand became a British colony with the Maori retaining full rights of self-governance. However, the effective administration of the country was soon taken over by European settlers although there were movements for Maori self-government. These movements declined in the early 1900s but the struggle for self-determination has re-emerged in recent years which have also seen a relative decline in the number of immigrants from England, Scotland and Ireland. New Zealand had its first elected House of Representatives in 1852 along with a nominated legislative Council and a Governor. Sheep farming came to dominate the economy and in 1882 the first refrigerated meat was sent to Britain.
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