In 1862 only 101 survived, and the last known full-blooded Moriori died in 1933.
Following Cook, New Zealand was visited by numerous European and North American whaling, sealing and trading ships.
New Zealand is a developed country and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life.
Since the 1980s, New Zealand has transformed from an agrarian, regulated economy to a diverse market economy.
The Māori people are most likely descended from people who emigrated from Taiwan to Melanesia and then travelled east through to the Society Islands.
In 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand.
In 1840, representatives of Britain and Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which declared British sovereignty over the islands.
New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga.
Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans.