Moriori are the indigenous people of the Chatham Islands (Rekohu in Moriori, Wharekauri in Maori), east of the New Zealand archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. These people lived by a code of non-violence and passive resistance (see Nunuku-whenua), which led to their near-extinction at the hands of Taranaki Maori invaders in the 1830s. During the early 20th century it was commonly believed that the Moriori were pre-Maori settlers of New Zealand, linguistically and genetically different from the Maori, and possibly Melanesian. This story, incorporated into Stephenson Percy Smith's "Great Fleet" hypothesis, was widely believed during the early 20th century. However the hypothesis was not always accepted, see 1904 paper by A. Shand on The Early History of the Morioris.
Contributions by Kahuroa, Gadfium, and Bortt.