Distinguished author Ron Crosby outlines why the Musket Wars were a crucial phase of New Zealand history and should be taught today.

For, as he describes in the book The Forgotten Wars: Why the Musket Wars matter today, these conflicts between 1806 and 1845 were the longest period of continuous warfare in Aotearoa, and laid the basis of relationships between iwi and hapū ever since — not to mention featuring endless cycles of utu and feats of bravery, including the campaigns of Hongi Hika and Te Rauparaha.

Muskets, potatoes and other introductions fundamentally altered the balance of power in 19th-century Aotearoa, leading to inter-iwi conflicts that claimed tens of thousands of lives (killing, wounding or displacing up to half of the Māori population).

Drawing on his seminal The Musket Wars, this concise work breaks the wars down by region and tribe, with stunningly detailed maps and illustrations that will help to ensure these epochal conflicts are no longer forgotten.