Research topic: Evangelisation of indigenous populations in Australia and New Zealand

I am a perpetually curious person. I want to know things, but sometimes I simply do not have the time to find out. And thus Research topics was begotten.

The central question in this research topic is: Why did the missionary work among the indigenous population in New Zealand appear to work “better” than the same work in Australia in the 18th and 19th centuries?

A few observations/wild guesses:

  • Australia is much larger than New Zealand.

  • As a result, one could make an argument that the indigenous population in New Zealand is probably more homogeneous than the population in Australia. In particular, the Māori language was sufficiently commonly understood among the indigenous people groups in New Zealand, where a single commonly-understood language may not exist in Australia.

  • Bible translation was much more advanced in the Māori language than in the Australian indigenous languages. Ethnologue reports that the Māori Bible was completed by 1952 (documentation of the language done in the early 19th century) whereas the Bible in Kriol was only completed in late 2006/early 2007.

What can we learn from this?

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