Māori urbanisation happen drastically during the late 1930s. Currently, there are more than 80% of the Māori people living in the cities with 25% of the population in Auckland city (Durie 2001:7). Money was an important reason driving the Māori population to migrate to urban centres for a better lifestyle. However, money was not the only factor for urbanisation, there are other aspects interconnected with each other such as loss of land to the crown, more employment opportunities and access to education in the cities. This essay will explore an overview of these three reasons for Māori migration, followed by a discussion on both the negative and positive impacts of migration on the traditional Māori society.
The centre of Māori culture lies with the land, it engages their life with nourishment and represent individuals’ mana (power and authority) (King 1992:175). Whenua (land) is fundamental to Māori identity, it connects the future generations to their whakapapa (genealogy) (Williams 2004:50). Māori relied on the land to support their families. During World War Two Māori land was taken by the crown under the New Zealand Settlements Act, 1863 (Schwimmer, Forster, Parker & Ritchie 1968:72). Hence, large numbers of Māori people migrates to cities after World War Two. By 1945, 26% of the Māori population moved to urban cities due to the government controlling their income and resources (Coleman, Dixon, & Marē 2005:21). In addition to the restriction of land, there were less