May the People Live: A History of Maori Health Development 1900–1920

Raeburn Lange

‘. . . a significant contribution to debate in history, health studies, and policy.’ – Ian Anderson, Bulletin of the History of Medicine


A century ago Māori were believed to be a ‘dying race’, their population having declined rapidly as a result of European contact. May the People Live provides a comprehensive and detailed account of how this decline was reversed in the years 1900–1918 through imaginative and wide-ranging action taken by Māori themselves. Lange concentrates on the contribution of the well-known ‘Young Māori Party’ reformers, Māui Pōmare, Peter Buck and Apirana Ngata, the early Māori nurses and the Māori Councils. He emphasises throughout the conduct and impact of the reforms at grassroots level. Relying on extensive research, this is the first substantive study of a topic of wide interest, then and now. Of real value and significance to students of New Zealand, and especially Māori, history, it will also offer illuminating insights to those actively involved today in improving the health of Māori.



Raeburn Lange was born and bred in New Zealand. He started life in Dannevirke in 1947 and has since lived in Hawke's Bay, South Otago, Dunedin, Waikato, Auckland and Christchurch. He attended The University of Auckland and gained his PhD at the University of Otago, Dunedin, where he then taught New Zealand and European history from 1975 to 1983. He moved to Fiji in 1984 and taught Pacific history and the history of Christianity. In 1993 he moved back to New Zealand to teach history in Christchurch where he continues to research and write on Pacific and New Zealand history.


December 1999, 228 x 158 mm, 374 pages, illustrations
Paperback, ISBN 9781869402143, $49.99