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But most land was sold by Maori to the government legally. Taken from the same website you quote:
"From 1840 to 1865, Māori could sell land only to the government. Chiefs were encouraged to sell their land at low prices, and the government bought about two-thirds of New Zealand – almost all of the South Island, and large areas in the North Island. It was then sold to Pākehā settlers."
Further, what land ownership meant to European and Maori was different.
You can read about those differences here, but I will quote a small section of it. You may notice that it is similar to the sentence in this webpage that you are challenging.
"As Māori came to realise the absolute nature of land ownership in European eyes, they began to question past sales. In particular, they challenged sales by individual chiefs of land that was traditionally used by groups.
By 1862 most of the South Island, and about one-quarter of the North Island – including large areas of the Wairarapa, Hawke’s Bay and Auckland – had been purchased by the Crown. Another 3.5 million acres (1.4 million hectares) were confiscated in the New Zealand wars of the 1860s."
While it appears much land was sold legally, differences in understanding what selling land meant led to conflict. During the land wars the victor took more land. While I think this is part of the redress, it is common around the world and in history that in time of war that land is divided up by the victor. To some degree this went on in New Zealand before European occupation. Tribes attacked tribes and took possession according to their customs.
The Taranaki siege of Chatham Islands Morirori for example was in line with Maori customs of the day.
What we do know is the Moriori had a different culture and lived by a code of non-violence and passive resistance which was completely different to Maori. This was also their downfall as it made it easier for Taranaki Māori invaders to nearly exterminate them in the 1830s.
'Recognise' is the British spelling of 'recognized'.