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Māori people gradually adopted many aspects of Western society and culture.
Initial relations between Māori and Europeans were largely amicable, and with the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, the two cultures coexisted as part of a new British colony.
In matters involving financial benefits provided by the government to people of Māori ethnicity, for example scholarships or Waitangi Tribunal settlements, authorities generally require some documentation of ancestry or continuing cultural connection, such as acceptance by others as being of the people, but no minimum "blood" requirement exists as determined by the government.
Māori oral history describes the arrival of ancestors from Hawaiki (the mythical homeland in tropical Polynesia), in large ocean-going waka.are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand.