New Zealand was colonised in the 1800s by the European settlers.
Abel Tasman was the first to sight new zealand in 1642. He believed it was rich in minerals.
At sight he called it "Saten Landt". He sailed the West Coast but never set foot on New Zealand soil.
James Cook was sent to to south continent which was the believed to be rich in minerals.(like Abel Tasman)When they spotted the first bit of New Zealand they called it Young Nicks Head because that was the boys name who spotted it.
In 1840 the early settlers were mostly whalers,sealers,missionaries,and immigrants.The settlers went there for work and contact with the Maori.
The British traded muskets with the Maori for food jade and weapons. The muskets caused war between the Maori tribes and many Maori were killed.
The Maori and the English were living together but with no rules. They needed a partnership to live peacefully together, this was called the Treaty of Waitangi. With the singing of the Treaty of Watangi in 1840 New Zealand become a British settlement. English, Australians and the French came to live in New Zealand.