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Kupapa has been variously defined as being neutral (in a quarrel), being loyal, being an ally or being a traitor, the word itself has come to be as hotly contested as its history. 

The Treaty of Waitangi struck a bargain between two parties - the Crown and Maori. Its promises of security, however, were followed from 1845 to 1872 by a series of volaile and bloody conflicts commonly known as the New Zealand Wars.

 

Many people believe that these wars were fought solely between the Crown and Maori, when the reality is Maori aligned with both sides, resulting in three participants from differing viewpoints.

 

It is rarely recognised, for instance, that Te Wherowhero, later the first Maori King, was originally a strong supporter of the Crown, or that the numbers of Maori who aligned with the Crown or were neurtral probably exceeded those who fought against it. Or that the frontline combat over the final two years was fought almost exclusively between opposing Maori forces.  ​Kupapa is an important work that gives voice to an unspoken chapter of Maori history.

'The Musket Wars must rate as one of the most accessible and well presented treatments of New Zealand history currently available.' Sir Tipene O'Regan, Dominion

'One of the must-reads of 1999.' Iain Sharp, Sunday Star-Times

''A necessary addition to all collections of New Zealand history.' Diana Masters, Waikato Daily Times

''Crosby's book is both intriguing and absorbing to the point of brilliance and gives new insights into both the ability of the Maori to adapt quickly and their impressive skills of innovation.' Jim Hunter, The Southland Times

''It represents an important compilation of material about a crucial period of New Zealand history which is often overlooked, yet which is of huge importance to Treaty of Waitangi claims.' Jim Eagles, Hawke's Bay Today

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