The country remained an enthusiastic member of the British Empire, and 110,000 men fought in World War I (see New Zealand Expeditionary Force).
After the war New Zealand signed the Treaty of Versailles (1919), joined the League of Nations, and pursued an independent foreign policy, while its defence was still controlled by Britain.
Missionary William Ellis watched the procedure, commenting to the queen that she must be undergoing great pain.
The queen replied, He eha nui no, he nui roa ra kuu aroha.
The history of New Zealand dates back at least 700 years to when it was discovered and settled by Polynesians, who developed a distinct Māori culture centred on kinship links and land.
The first European explorer to sight New Zealand was Dutch navigator Abel Tasman on 13 December 1642.
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The cultures of the region share many traits with each other.The term Polynesia was first used in 1756 by French writer Charles de Brosses, and originally applied to all the islands of the Pacific.In 1831, Jules Dumont d'Urville proposed a restriction on its use during a lecture to the Geographical Society of Paris.Coastal plains are absent or extremely limited on high islands.Atolls (ring-shaped islands made of coral) are the most common low islands in Polynesia.