The drift to the cities and farming difficulties

Farming is more difficult now because there are no longer small dairy factories making butter and cheese in these isolated areas, and there is little profit to be made from other forms of farming. Sheep farming is still important but it is harder to sell wool and mutton overseas these days. New Zealand has to find new markets and new products to survive.

The Maori of the remote rural areas and the Maori of the cities both face special problems. These problems have been created by change, for New Zealand as a whole is changing nowadays very rapidly. Not long ago New Zealand sold most of its good to Britain. Some people called it Britain’s ‚farm in the Pacific‘.

Now Britain is part of the European Union, which already has too much milk, butter and meat. New Zealand has to find new products to sell to the rest of the world, and has to make new friends and trading partners, in the countries of the East as well as Europe and America.

When farming faces difficulties, everyone suffers. Many young Maori started going to the cities in the 1960s and 1970s where they looked for work in factories, offices and wherever else jobs are available. For many of them lack of training is a handicap, and there are many problems facing the young Maori in the cities. Under the stress of town life, which is very different from the traditions of rural areas, families may break up. Tribal ties are no longer as strong as they were in the countryside. Some young Maori become homeless and some get into difficulties with the police. Crime is a big problem in the cities and can seem the only option to those with no money and lots of time.